This past Saturday night my sketch group, Dictator’s Time Machine, had the pleasure of performing a sold out show. The show was ImprovBoston‘s Battle Royale along with All Things Dismembered. It was up against the New England Patriots playing in the quarterfinals of the NFL playoffs (against the Indianapolis Colts). To say that I’m surprised the show was so well attended, despite the high-stakes football game, would be an understatement.
Sports and comedy have an interesting relationship for me. On the one hand, I’m a comedian and love going to see comedy shows. On the other, I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan and it wouldn’t have crossed my mind to see a comedy show during their recent playoff run. As a comic without much drawing power (the ability to bring an audience) I’m in constant fear of things like the weather or sporting events preventing people from coming to my shows.
When I realized that Saturday’s show would be up against the Patriots game, I was anticipating the worst. No one would come, right? Why would they? People love football and people love the Patriots. Even people without any rooting interest will watch the game, that’s how football works. Then the show did sell out and my heart grew three sizes that day.
I’m not generally a pessimist but I try to be realistic. Somewhere along the way, I think I was tricked. I had a stand-up gig two years ago during a Patriots playoff game that was pushed up several hours, I believe to 6pm, so that it would be over in time for people to watch the game. One time I had an improv workshop cancelled on Super Bowl Sunday that went from 4-6pm, even though the game wouldn’t start until after 6:00.
Conversely, I had a stand-up gig during game one of this year’s Stanley Cup, which included the Boston Bruins. I was sure no one would show up but it was a reasonably full crowd (and a pretty good crowd considering it was a Wednesday, too). I had a sketch show during the clinching game six of the World Series, with the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park and I was told it was one of the best attended shows all year.
So in the end, sporting events during comedy shows is a total wash and attendance at them pretty much revolves around who was going to go to the show in the first place.
This past week I found out that I have to move in August. The apartment I’ve lived in for 3 years has been sold. I’m already stressing about the idea