All comics hate bringers.
I know…more fancy comedian lingo. A bringer is a show that requires the performer to bring a certain amount of paid guests in order to get time at the mic. It’s not unusual for this to be some exorbitant amount of people, like 10. The guests then have to pay a ten dollar cover and buy at least two drinks, which are usually around 12 – 13 dollars. Not a drinker? That’s OK, you can get an 8-dollar Coke anytime.
This rant has been ranted thousands of times by thousands of comics, so it’s not much use for me to continue. Instead, I’m going to offer some solutions to the problem. Not how to avoid doing bringer shows- that is all but impossible – but how to maximize your bringing potential and make bringers a breeze. So here it is, GQ’s (me, not the magazine - happens all the time) Top Ten Tips for Bringer Success!
10. Do all favors solely based on whether you can ask that person to a bringer. See that little old lady trying to cross the road? I got news for you, she ain’t coming to a comedy show anytime soon. Let the boy scouts handle it. But, wait, what’s this?! This young lady needs someone to escort her home safely at 2am? “Well that depends…what are you doing Friday night?”
9. Get James Cameron to front your bringer show 500 million dollars, then do your set in IMAX 3D. If possible, have sex with Kate Winslet in an antique car.
8. Craigslist personals, Casual Encounters Section. Not just for pictures of your genitals anymore! Be sure to use steamy language: "I'm 24, and I loved to be watched. It’s my fantasy to have a group of people pay to see me perform. I love when people laugh at me during the whole thing. I’ll also be holding something closely resembling a phallus.” Throwin' in a picture of your genitals at the end couldn't hurt.
7. Fake terminal illness and advertise your bringer show by constantly reminding your friends that “this is it.” (Note: this one only works once)
6. The classic misdirection. Remember when you worked at Dunkin Donuts, and you put a sticker that said “Feed the Homeless” over your tip jar? (You’re a bastard, by the way.) Why not do the same for your bringers? Personally, I dress up like Mr. Mistoffelees from CATS. Now if they thought an actual performance of CATS was going on, well I can’t be blamed for their assumptions, can I?
5. Go all Roman Catholic on them, reformation style! Promise forgiveness of sins and automatic admittance into heaven in exchange for a ticket. And the two-drink minimum, of course. You know as well as I do, some idiots will fall for that.
4. Just make it a Facebook event, and everyone who said they might go, really means they will definitely be there!! (Note: this has never worked ever.)
3. “Listen Uncle Steve, if you’re not coming to COMIX on Saturday, you’re not getting the Kidney. End of story.”
2. Three weeks before your show, publish a book where you admit to years of drug abuse and mullet-wig wearing. Or be chased out of your home at 2am by a nine-iron wielding, vindictive wife. Or impregnate a governor's daughter. Or…
1. Theme nights! Why let Major League Baseball have all the fun?! Some that have worked for me: Free Gregory Quinn bobblehead to first 25 guests. Get both breasts signed for the price of one! And my favorite, first ten guests receive cordial invite to next bringer show!
And there you have it. With these ten simple tips, you’ll be an expert bringer in no time! Now get out there, and make those club owners some money!