As a comedy agent, I get free tickets to countless comedy shows throughout the year. Sometimes it is for comedians you really want to see, sometimes it’s actually just for “work” to evaluate new comedians for potential work opportunities with Summit Comedy. Watching comedy as a 20+ year agent makes it hard sometimes since I’ve heard countless jokes, puns, premises, and “average comedy” just doesn’t do much for me with actually “laughing”. My wife hates seeing comedy shows with me since I mostly sit stone faced “judging” the people onstage and even when I do find a joke “funny”, many times just nod and say “that was pretty funny”. Periodically though I find comedians that make me laugh out loud and those are the people who I want and will work with. These comedians are just a few examples: Chad Daniels, Tommy Johnagin, Roy Wood Jr, Jessi Campbell, Kevin Bozeman
I can think of only 3 times (besides fund raiser events which I’m excluding) that I’ve actually had to purchase tickets to a comedy show. One was for Brian Regan who is one of my favorite comedians, next was many years ago at the Comedy Cabana in Myrtle Beach who after me telling the owners “Hello, I’m Chuck from Summit Comedy” they said “Oh hey, I’ve heard of you, that’ll be $12.50 please!” (Hahaha), and last month I purchased tickets for comedian Chris Rock for an upcoming date in NC.
Part of my tasks as a baby agent in the mid-1990s was to shuttle comedians around from airports, radio stations, TV stations, and sometimes even shady bus stations (Thanks for that one Akintunde Warnock). Yes, it’s not always so glamorous in the entertainment business folks! Back in 1995 I had to pick up comedian Chris Rock at the Charlotte, NC airport as he was performing at the Comedy Zone that weekend. He wasn’t a household name at that time, but he had recently finished up working as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and was making the comedy club rounds.
This was pre-9/11 days when you could actually go all the way to the airport gate to great guests. Well, I’m not sure if I was late, or his flight was early, so when I got to his gate, the plane had already emptied and I was forced to run around the airport looking for him. To no avail, I then had to go to the info desk and have him paged to meet me at baggage claim. Picture this scene…”Paging Chris Rock….Mr. Chris Rock, please meet your party at baggage claim!” Again, this pre-dates cell phones and in my defense he wasn’t a huge star yet so I knew this wouldn’t create a TMZ-like paparazzi mob, and it was the only way I knew how to get him to where I was waiting for him.
Well, turns out, he already left the airport grabbing a cab to the hotel where he was staying. I never went to see his show that weekend for whatever reason, so to this day I’ve never met nor seen Chris Rock live. I’ve met and have worked with thousands of comedians both famous and not yet famous over the last 2 decades. Some just stand out with amazing talent that you should take time out to go see them if nearby regardless if you have to purchase tickets or not, so when Chris Rock announced his new tour for this year, I jumped at the chance to see the comedy legend and bought tickets for a Comedy field trip to see him at a casino stop in North Carolina. Something tells me I’m going to put away my “judging cap” and laugh out loud at this one!? 😉
President; Summit Comedy, Inc.