How To Ruin Your Event


Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 11.21.34 AMThere’s lots of ways to ruin an event. Let’s talk about ruining the entertainment portion, especially if you have gone with comedy.

With any type of live entertainment there is a relationship between the audience and the performer. And nowhere is this more pronounced than with comedy entertainment which, when performed at the highest level, is much more like a dialogue than a monologue. The audience might be able to chat amongst themselves and still enjoy a rock band, but not so with, say stand-up: to be successful the craft requires an audience that is totally engaged.

A professional, experienced and talented comedian knows when an audience isn’t with her and will prattle, prod and engage an audience until she knows they are focused and only then will he get to the heart of her act and the business of making them laugh.

But how, you may ask, can I make a comedy entertainer’s job as difficult as possible?

Let’s say you’re a professional event planner or someone who is otherwise responsible for planning an event for your company. You’ve done your homework and found an comedian who is accomplished, a pleasure to work with and perfectly suits your needs. Now the question is, what can you do to thwart this his remarkable talents and years of experience and make everyone in attendance uncomfortable at the same time?

Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure that the delicate, essential bond between an audience and a comedian is tenuous at best or, better yet, never established in the first place.

Schedule The Entertainer Immediately After A Break

The room is pumped. The most-popular, hardest-working guy or gal in the company has just received his well-deserved award from the CEO and the energy in the room is at its peak. Whatever you do, don’t harness the audience’s energy by immediately introducing to the stage the entertainer you’ve budgeted a sizable sum to procure. Instead, have the CEO, emcee or whoever has the floor to announce a break “of about 15 minutes”. That should be enough time for the room to deflate, the energy vanish and allow the stragglers to head back into the room and settle into their seats while chatting with their fellow fellow employees about golf plans for the following weekend.

Seat The Audience At Round Banquet Tables

For the love of God, you’re not going to ensure that all the seats in the audience are facing the stage, are you? No, no, no. When an entertainer walks on stage you want roughly half the audience facing the back of the room. That way more people will be able to tell when the line for the open bar is down to only a few people. You might also consider leaving the doors in the back of the room open, allowing those seated with their backs to the stage to “people watch” the smokers, stragglers and maybe even catch a glimpse of that woman from the coat check with the ineffable aura about her. Ideally, you want these people who face the back of the room to be completely unaware of what is going on on the stage. Think muzak.

Serve Food During The Show

When a world-class comedy entertainer and a mediocre salad go head to head, the salad wins every time. Anything requiring utensils is best – after all, people are capable of enjoying a comedian with finger food like popcorn just as they are capable of enjoying a movie. Of course, it never hurts to have hard-working servers bustling from table to table pouring water, grinding pepper and sending that steak back to the kitchen until it’s done right.

Arrange For A Large, Empty Space Between The Stage And The Front Row

Nothing is more conducive to an attentive, engaged audience like seating them as close to the stage as possible. There’s an intimacy to this seating arrangement that mimics the openness and rapport of an private conversation. This is why you want a large empty space surrounding the stage. Many venues place a small stage against the wall of a large banquet hall and surround it with a large, empty dance floor: this is the ideal way to ensure your money and reputation go to waste. Nothing sends the the audience the signal “You have nothing to do with this performance” quite like seating everyone no less than a metric mile of the edge of the stage. This way audience members can chat with each other throughout the show while feeling – wrongly – that it has no impact on the overall performance.

The above are just a few basic, feng-shui examples of how to ruin the entertainment portion of your event. The truth is, there are almost as many ways to ruin it as there are second-rate entertainers to ruin it for you.

Do you know other ways to ensure that entertaining at your event is as uphill a battle as possible?

ADHD Is Really Just Procrastination

I have a theory that so-called “Attention Deficit Disorder” is really just good old-fashioned procrastination. Why? Consider: when people identified with ADHD must complete a task that’s fun, they have reserves of focus. When the task is to play their favorite video game without interruption for an hour, for example, nothing distracts them. If the task, on the other hand, is one that’s as difficult as it is rewarding – tidying up the house, writing a chapter of your book – then they are again burdened with attention-deficit disorder.

Cree, Sioux Nations Acknowledge Building Casinos On Each Other’s Ancient Homelands


In an unprecedented development, two Native American tribes have issued public acknowledgments recognizing the other’s original stewardship of the land upon which their respective gaming establishments are built.

Sioux Nation’s popular Slot Land has transformed Cree’s ancient hunting grounds into a popular gaming destination for locals and tourists alike. Similarly, Cree Nation’s Gaming Palace is built on the Sioux’s holiest burial site.

Sioux Nation’s land acknowledgment expresses sorrow for building North America’s largest Let-It-Ride tournament where Cree civilization thrived for more than a thousand years before the birth of George Washington. For its part, Cree Nation’s land acknowledgement specifically expresses regret for hosting the incredibly profitable World Series of Poker directly above the grave of the Sioux’s most revered chief, Sitting Bull.

At time of writing both tribes are claiming to have the loosest slots west of the Mississippi River.





Edgy Comic Refers To Audience As “Ladies and Gentlemen”

David Deeble, a standup comedian referred to by his critics as an “insult comic,” brazenly opened up his set at Sarah Lawrence College by addressing the audience as “Ladies and gentlemen.” “Discomfort in the room was immediate and palpable” said booker Gwynyd Simms (she/her, Bachelor of Arts in English.) “In hindsight, the absence of pronouns on his résumé was the first red flag,” she added. (Simms would later embark on a month-long listening tour after being reminded that the term “red flag” is deemed offensive to indigenous peoples.)

According to witnesses, tension in the room only increased after Deeble claimed to have gotten married “old school – to a woman.” Undeterred, Deeble went on to say that he had “three children – one of each,” according an audience member who wished not to be identified as their identity is currently in transition. The edgy comic then went on to tell a story of the year he spent in San Francisco where he was not only president of the Bay Area Republicans Club but that he was also “the member.” (A spokeswoman for Sara Lawrence stated that an investigation by the college concluded that no such organization exists.)

Event organizers ultimately turned off Deeble’s microphone after launching into into a bit about being vaccinated but un-boosted. According to a statement on Deeble’s website he will now focus his career on church shows where at least taboo topics and language remain the same from day to day.


Biden: Search For Classified Documents May Turn Up More Homes

President Biden conceded on Friday that the search for mishandled classified documents may turn up additional homes. After searches of his homes in both Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware as well as his offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, Biden stated that he “can’t rule out the possibility” that more homes will be found.

When pressed by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, Biden appeared to enter a fugue-like state, saying “Let’s see, there’s the mansion in Greenville I bought from the DuPonts – no joke… we called it The Station. Anyway, sources and methods pertaining to the Taliban might just turn up there… then we flipped The Station and bought the place in Wilmington, which has been searched top to bottom by my fixers, er, I mean officials from Justice Department… ditto my bachelor pad in Rehoboth…”

The President then appeared to nod off again before acknowledging that classified documents may in fact turn up at the five-bedroom property they rented in McClean, Virginia, where former first lady Jackie Kennedy grew up.

After 15-minute nap at the podium Biden appeared to regain his energy, stating “Then there’s my corner booth at Johnny’s Half Shell where between the cushions you might just find a list of CIA black op sites… best crab cakes in the country, Johnny’s… beneath my table at the Old Ebbitt Grill might just turn up some info about the Sandanistas that’ll blow your frickin’ mind… Jesus but that waitress at Old Ebbitts, she’s probably my age now… I also bet you two bits that in one of the toilet stalls at The Monocle you’ll find transcripts of phone conversations between Jimmy Carter and the Shah.”

At the time of this writing Biden was being escorted from the podium by a staffer in an Easter Bunny costume.

Serial Killer Butchers Woman’s Last Name

A woman’s last name was discovered butchered last week by a man believe to be a serial killer. The suspected murderer, who has yet to be identified, variously pronounced Amanda Jonigkeit’s (pronounced YAH-nik-kite) last name as “John-ig-keit,” “Yahn-ich-keet,” and “Johnson.”

Witnesses at the scene expressed exasperation at how anyone could so utterly mangle a woman’s last name in the prime of her life. “This was Amanda’s big night” said Jonigkeit’s friend and colleague Sara Tiller. “She was being introduced a Saleswoman Of The Year when the emcee and suspected serial killer left the podium having slaughtered Jonigkeit’s last name over the course of more than two minutes before finally settling on “Amanda.”

“It was horrific” said another witness who wished not to be identified lest the serial killer seek revenge by mutilating their last name. Local authorities are working with state officials and the FBI in order to identify the man who is also believed to have also bungled Barack Obama’s last name while discussing the Osama bin Laden assassination, referring to the former president as “Barack Osama” before quickly attempting to cover up his malapropism.

A person familiar with the investigation says that authorities believe the killer will continue to butcher last names until he is apprehended or starts doing his homework.

Former Energy Official Lands Job As Baggage Handler

Sam Brinton, the disgraced Department of Energy official fired for serial theft of luggage and not for being non-binary, has found new employment at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport. “At Dulles, diversity is our strength” said the airport’s Operations Director Mike Stewart.

Upon hiring Brinton, airport management and the Service Employees International Union quickly renegotiated their collective bargaining agreement, creating a carve-out for Brinton against rules that prohibit high heels and long dresses from being worn in the workplace. (Dress regulations still apply to cis-gendered female employees.)

According to Brinton, whose pronouns are they/them, he is enjoying his exciting new career path. “The pace can be frantic for sure,” he said, adding that “Sometimes I can hardly steal a moment for myself.”

The engaged Brinton arrives at his new job just as Dulles is experiencing a marked surge in missing luggage, bringing greater pressure to the job. “Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg is doing a tremendous job on that front I can tell you” he said as he attempted to extricate the train of his wedding gown from the conveyer belt before it swallowed him alive and endangered those around him.

According to shift forewoman Stephanie Grouser, “Sam has his sights set on becoming an airline pilot, where he’d bring a lot of diversity.” In the U.S., female pilots currently outnumber non-binary ones by just over 29,000 to zero.

By David Deeble. See David’s YouTube channel here.