It was a big week for comedy in Chicago.
Last week, Conan O’Brien brought his crew to town for a week of tapings of his TBS show, “Conan,” as part of the Just for Laughs Chicago Festival. Big names like Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Vince Vaugh and more performed their own shows. And then over the weekend, Sarah Silverman rolled through Chicago with a troupe of some of the best comedians around--Hannibal Buress, Natasha Leggero, Kyle Dunnigan, Marc Maron, Reggie Watts--for one of the better showcases of the week. Somehow, Silverman managed to pack a two-hour show into an hour-and-a-half time slot. Why the tight squeeze? Because despite the clear 7:30 p.m. start time and repeated pleas over the loud speaker from Silverman herself-- “It’s 7:42, sit the fuck down!”--most of the crowd was still trickling in closer to 8 p.m.
I hate to assume that someone who waltzes into a theater 30 minutes late with a glass of wine and a big fat grin on his or her face doesn’t regularly attend comedy shows, but I’m pretty sure these people don’t regularly attend comedy shows. No problem! Let me help you jokesters out. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you throw down for some comedy show tickets, at a theater or a smaller club, to ensure that you, the comedian and everyone around you has the best time ever.
1) Show up whenever you want
The start time on a ticket is actually a “suggested time.” Comedians have no insecurities or repressed anger, so you can walk in whenever you’d like, loudly shuffle your way to your seat and it won’t really bother anyone.
2) Snacks are necessities
What, you thought you could last more than an hour without food or drink? Not possible. Stock up for the winter with popcorn, hot dogs, $8 wine and a spare Diet Pepsi so you don’t end up fainting after going 20 minutes without putting something in your mouth.
3) Make your presence known
Comedians like to know they’re appreciated. Wait for the perfect moment during a set to shout “I love you _____!” loud enough so that they can hear you, acknowledge you and show their gratitude that you bought a ticket to the show. You could also wait for the right moment to start a dialogue with the comedian when you disagree on an issue. They love that.
4) Pics or it didn’t happen
I’ve never regretted anything more in life than that time I forgot to post a photo of [insert famous name here] on stage to my Facebook page. Nobody believed that I really went! Keep that phone at the ready throughout the show to get a good pic.
5) Get wasted
Let’s be real: This is the only reason you’re there. Why else would you drop $50 to sit in one spot for two hours? Even better: Get pre-wasted before the show so your genius wit and special drunk laugh arrive on cue when the show starts. Sitting next to a drunk is always good times.
6) Don’t do any of this, you idiot
It’s pretty simple and shouldn’t need to be told to audiences before every show: Mind your damn manners. Enjoy the show. “Have an experience,” as Silverman begged the audience at Saturday’s show. Put the world on hold for an hour, stop pissing off the comedians with your desperate attempts to ruin their show and double-check the start time on your ticket. I missed the Nick Offerman show after Silverman’s at 10 p.m. because of these people, and, yeah, I’m still mad. But the good news is that these people learned better for next time, right? I guess sarcasm doesn’t translate well to the Internet, does it...
Jessica Galliart is RedEye’s social media lady.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @jessicagalliart