How To Ruin Your Event

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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?

Law And Order Polling At All-time High

In a remarkable shift from just a week ago when law and order were deemed less popular than the coronavirus, pollsters across the country are now reporting that traditional concepts such as “lawfulness” have now surged in popularity across the country, particularly among minorities.

As sociologists struggled to explain what could be motivating a record number of Americans of all backgrounds to support peaceful protesters over violent mobs, firemen over arsonists and the police over looters, public officials at every level of government scrambled to signal to their constituents their support for the rule of law.

The rise in the popularity of lawfulness transcended all political, race, gender and socioeconomic lines and coincides with a period of joyful anarchy in American cities. The spike in the popularity for the enforcement of laws was most stark among owners and employees of minority-owned businesses, which coincidentally tend to proliferate in America’s urban areas.

Working-class African-Americans, who’ve been disproportionately affected by the recent spate of indoor fireworks, the unauthorized borrowing of unsold stereo equipment and a have demonstrated the starkest spike in support for the rule of law. Speaking in front of the smoldering ruins of the small grocery store that had been owned by his family for three generations, one Atlanta resident spoke for many when he said that these new norms actually hurt his community. “I always figured that if we lost the business I could go to work at Target” said the lifelong Georgian, apparently unaware that his local Target is also now a hole in the ground.

At press time the resident, who wished to remain anonymous because of his anti-crime stance, was wondering what impact the burning down of the local police station would have on his property values.

Illinois Flooded With Ex-Governors As Prisons Emptied Over Coronavirus Concerns

Illinois has been inundated with a rising tide of former governors as federal penitentiaries released hundreds of convicts over coronavirus concerns. In Chicago, residents were forced to evacuate their homes as basements became flooded with the likes of George Ryan (R., racketeering) and Rod Blogojevich (D., lying to federal agents.)

Downstate in Cairo, residents were forced onto rooftops as the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers overflowed their banks with the addition of former Illinois governors Otto Kerner (D., mail fraud, conspiracy, perjury) and Dan Walker (D., bank fraud, filing false financial statements.)

At press time current Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker was purchasing a new home on high ground using funds donated to his re-election campaign.

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Newsom To Open California Beaches One Grain Of Sand At A Time

In response to his state’s increasing calls for a path back to normalcy, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) announced plans to allow California’s beaches to re-open one grain of sand at a time. “The process must begin now, as opening up our world-class beaches will be a long one. In fact, an eternity” said Newsom, who then smiled wryly in the way only petty tyrants can.

The announcement reflects a policy shift for Newsom, who just days ago had called for “Lockdown today, lockdown tomorrow, lockdown forever!”

Polls suggests that Californians have widely-panned the move as a cynical ploy to burnish Newsom’s presidential ambitions in anticipation of the the 2024 election. As a politically powerful white male, the California governor is uniquely situated to pat a minority lesbian on the head for the bottom of the Democratic ticket.

Imperial College Researchers Model Likely Impact Of Weekend Booty Calls

Imperial College researchers released a study on Monday weighing the likely impact on the spread of COVID-19 of having your married, mother-of-two mistress pop by from the other side of London for a quick shag.

Disgraced former Imperial College lead researcher Niall Ferguson said that the results were inconclusive and that further study was required.

Nation Urged To Remain Calm, Consider Eating One Meal A Day

President Trump today called on Americans to “remain calm, exercise commonsense social distancing and consider eating just one meal a day.”

The comments were given in response to concerns that the U.S. food supply chains might be strained to the point of breaking. Trump went on to encourage citizens to “go on about your lives, get plenty of fresh, beautiful air and think about grazing on nuts for a majority of your daily caloric needs.”

When asked if Americans should be concerned that McDonalds has limited all customers to six-piece McNuggets, the president began to sob violently on Vice President Pence’s shoulder.

Trump Orders My Pillow® Guy To Manufacture McNuggets

Citing concern over the U.S. food supply chain and his own penchant for McDonalds, President Trump on Friday invoked the National Defense Act ordering My Pillow® founder and CEO Mike Lindell to place his factories on McNugget footing by the end of May.

Lindell, whose pillow facilities had only just completed the arduous task of transitioning to manufacturing masks, expressed confidence that his company can begin cranking out McDonalds-quality McNuggets by the president’s May 31 deadline. Lindell added that he expects by mid-June his 1,500 employees will also be able to produce Tangy BBQ, Sweet ‘n Sour, Hot Mustard, Honey Mustard and Trump-favorite Habanero Ranch dipping sauces.

When asked about concerns that his Executive Order might create a scarcity of soft sleeping surfaces stuffed with interlocking fill which adjusts to Americans’ widely-varying sleep positions, President Trump issued another Executive Order requiring that KFC begin manufacturing My Pillows®.

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Biden Makes Unscheduled Campaign Stop In Pantry

Joe Biden made an impromptu campaign stop in the pantry of his home on Wednesday, where the presumptive Democratic nominee addressed healthcare, the coronavirus crisis and trying to recall why he had entered the pantry in the first place.

The former Vice President, taking questions from reporters over Skype, again dismissed allegations made by his former staffer Tara Reade that he had digitally penetrated her against her will in 1993, stating “I don’t know the first thing about computers.” Biden then proceeded to accidentally mute the Skype app while repeating the words “Next question” with increasing stridency.

When asked if he had ruled out either Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren as a potential running mate, Biden responded that he had great confidence in them all, adding “I’d feel confident tapping any one of those gals.”

Finally escorted out of the pantry without procuring anything, the visibly tired candidate puttered around the house for ten minutes before touching down in the hotly-contested battleground of the den.

Biden Vows Running Mate To Be “Real classy broad”

"The next Vice President will be cute as a button" - Joe Biden
Joe Biden tracing an hourglass figure with his hands.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed in an interview on Monday that his running mate will be a “real classy broad,” presumably eliminating Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and especially Stacey Abrams from consideration.

“She’ll be smart as a whip, committed to improving Obamacare, and have a full set of curves,” added Biden, tracing an hourglass shape with his hands.

Highlighting his commitment to gender equality, Biden emphasized that under no circumstances would he tap a male running mate, no matter how well-qualified.

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Police Break Up Large Gathering Outside Unemployment Office

Fairbanks, Alaska – Police officers broke up a large gathering of people outside an unemployment office on Monday. The assembled individuals, rendered jobless since the state instituted its social distancing policy, had formed an orderly line outside the office’s front door during the early morning hours in order to avoid a big crowd of people.

Fairbanks, just 4,300 miles from the heart of the U.S. outbreak in New York City, is located in central Alaska, a state which has banned gatherings of more than ten people per square mile. Joe Kleinsmith, who was laid off during government-mandated recession, was one of those detained by police. “I was surprised how safe I felt in jail,” said the newly-minted former construction worker, referring to the furloughing of violent criminals in order to make room for those exercising their right to earn a living wage.

Since the first-reported U.S. coronavirus case in early March, Alaska has reported more fatalities from from slipping on ice (10) than the novel coronavirus (9). As a result, state health officials have banned ice through August 15.

Cuomo: Enough With The Ventilators Already

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY): “I beg you: stop sending us ventilators.”

At today’s press briefing New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued a rousing call to his fellow Americans to stop sending his state ventilators: “Seriously, it’s getting out of hand. Let me be clear: stop sending New York ventilators already.”

The governor, who spoke flanked by his lieutenant governor, three state health officials and more than two-thousand just-arrived ventilators from Texas, at times showed flashes of anger at the rest of the country. “To reiterate,” he said, “the Empire State is up to its eyeballs in ventilators.”

At the conclusion of the briefing the governor became briefly lost attempting to negotiate his way to the exit through the maze of ventilators before turning around and shouting at his staffers “The other way! The other way!”

At press time, more than a dozen Airbus A380s were approaching the runway at Albany International Airport, each containing more than one-thousand ventilators from Washington state.