Tonight was Danielle's first shot at hosting for the Mainstage and I went to support. When I got there they were short on comedians so I ended up doing some guesting. The crazy thing was the headliner was a guy I remember from MTV's Half-hour Comedy Hour circa early 90's. That show was a big part of me wanting to become a comedian, and here was a guy that I have recorded on a video tape in a chest in my mom's garage. Weird. He was super nice and we talked about that set and some of his physical work (he trained to be a clown). Unfortunately I had rehearsal so I could not stay for his set.
Hosting and comedy are slightly different beasts. With comedy you can be yourself and hope people laugh. With hosting the job is more specific and deals more with energy and crowd control. It's something that comes easy for me because of my announcer/emcee background. Danielle had to learn that lesson cold tonight. Her set itself was great, but I think she felt like a fish out of water with the hosting thing and the audience was still a little quiet. Never fear, Jakee's here.
I started by pumping 'em up, albeit in a cheesy fashion. Then I went into my goods (Bumberbout, Nicole, Toby, Drinking then Cheesecake). They were loud and raucous (more or less) by the time I was done with them. Julie and the headliner said very nice things when I was heading out.
Hosting is a hard and thankless job (unless you get paid). It requires you to be more than just a comedian and it's often taken for granted. It's also poo-pood by most other comedians (again, unless you get paid). However, if you can get it down, it will help you out as a comedian because it gives you the power of crowd control and respect from the comedians you're hosting for.
Lesson: Hosting's hard, but worth it.
Back-up lesson: Talk to vets, even if their comedy is not your thing. You can always learn something from someone who stays in the game for 15 years.