Four Ways To Botch An Entertainer’s Introduction

The best introduction I ever received was at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California. The comedian who gave it was a big fan of my work and his enthusiasm was hilariously over-the-top yet unmistakably authentic: “Your next performer is unbelievable! How can I describe what he does? There’s no word for it! You just have to see it! You’ve never seen anything like it! I just have to bring him out so you can see for yourself! Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to David Deeble!”

He had the audience laughing during the introduction in such a way that suggested they were thinking one thing: I have to see who he’s talking about.

While no entertainer should expect to be introduced each time with such unbridled enthusiasm, this anecdote does provide some clues ensure that you don’t inadvertently place the evening’s entertainment behind the 8 ball before it’s even begun.

Below are a two of the best ways for emcees, event planners and entertainers to make an entertainer’s introduction an energy-depleting momentum-killer.



Simple, straightforward introductions are for celebrities whose accomplishments are well-known, not for you! I like to think of my introduction as indistinguishable from my resumé: “Tell them I’ve performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing and America’s Got Talent – in that order. Then say I appear regularly at the Magic Castle in Hollywood – don’t forget the in Hollywood part – and that I’ve opened up for Ray Romano and Kevin James. Then tell them I specialize in performing at private functions and corporate events. Then tell them my website – – that’s two d’s, understand? – and conclude with ‘Please welcome the comedy of David Deeble!’ But with feeling, okay?”



This is a corollary of the above. Sure, memorizing a lengthy, in-depth bio and relating it to the audience with unmistakeable zeal is difficult, but don’t forget your place. After all, you’re dealing with an entertainer and showing deference should be your highest priority. Whatever you do, suppress the courage and commonsense to say “I want to give you the best introduction possible. I suggest we shorten this introduction and make up for the missing credits by bringing you onstage with lots of energy and enthusiasm”.


By all means, take the wind out of the show’s sails! Performers tend to rise to the occasion when their name is followed by applause, so why not begin by stating the name of the entertainer followed seamlessly by the rest of the introduction? Better yet, conclude the introduction by omitting the performer’s name and let the introduction just kind of trail off. Here’s how you would put me behind the 8 ball: “David Deeble is a comedy juggler. Let’s give him nice welcome.


If you are a personal fan the work of the entertainer you are introducing, why on earth would you want to let the audience in on it? All it does is give the entertainer one of the best imprimaturs there is: a testimonial. Your introduction should say, in effect: “I don’t know who this gal is and the fact that I’m introducing her does not imply an endorsement on my part. I have been tasked with introducing her to you and that is all. Anyway, here she is.”

An introduction can set the stage for a fantastic evening of entertainment or leave the audience wondering if now would be a good time to sneak in a smoke. If you have any thoughts on what makes or breaks an entertainer’s introduction, leave your comments below.


7 thoughts on “Four Ways To Botch An Entertainer’s Introduction

  1. I always have a prepared introduction on paper for whoever is introducing me. It is, as David suggested, brief and exciting. Sometimes people botch that nonetheless, so, I have some very hilarious recovery lines that bring the audience back to where I need them. Thanks David for this line of discussion. Great topic.
    Kenny Shaw

  2. David, I want to hang out with ya. You made me laugh. Not out loud, so don’t get full of yourself. :o) Loved the line “anyway, here she is”.
    As a comic as well as an emcee – I agree with your article. If the performers write up is too long as you said, I usually shorten it myself if they won’t assist. Such as:
    “Our headliner tonight is going to make you spit beer through your nose, even if you’re not drinking. He’s that funny. He was a former Brittany Spears stunt double back up singer . . please welcome David Deeble!”
    Ok – I’ve never been that bad, but I hope I made you smile, and want you to know I enjoyed knowledge. Have an above average day! Lisa

  3. The 2nd best I ever had was, at a club in a seaport,
    “…. we will now have 2 mins silence for all the people who tragically lost their lives on the recent ferry disaster,,,, Now welcome the comedy of Sonny Hayes & Co.

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