Icebreaker Comedy

From the Blog

Our Manifesto (or “comedy we like”)

Stand-up is brilliant for being so loose and flexible, but in 2019, with so much debate about what comedy should be, it can be difficult for both audiences and comedians to know what to expect.

So here’s things we like and don’t in the comedians we book


  1. Original – We expect comedians to write all their own material, and to some extent try to make it different from everyone else’s
  2. Continuously improving – We want comedians who constantly try new things to improve and build their following, whether it’s new material, a fan page, videos, sketches, podcasts, or setting up new nights. Even if no one’s making money off these!
  3. Genuine – We want comedy that is genuine and passionate, and reflects the heart and personality of the performer
  4. Funny – We’re happy to accommodate both offensive and ‘woke’ comedy as long as it’s trying to be funny and well-received by the audience (sounds obvious, you’d be surprised…)


  1. Bullying – On or off-stage. We want to build a supportive community, and avoid acts that are abusive, live or online. Private constructive feedback is encouraged, public humiliation is not
  2. Drink/drug abuse – Acts that are often too drunk/high to perform at their best will be avoided


  1. 3 seems a bit off. Jokes don’t have to be personal or “genuine”, most one liner comics and character comics are not anything of the sort. “Genuine” seems more like a genre than a requirement.

    1. I disagree.

      Any good one-liner comedian will tell you you need a character behind the one-liners. I.e. a Jimmy Carr one-liner is very different from a Tim Vine one-liner. Not because Jimmy Carr can’t write silly puns, but because he loves baiting the audience and that passion is most of what makes him enjoyable and kept him going through the 200+ unpaid performances he did starting out.

      Most “character acts” are actually just new acts using a silly name because they don’t have the confidence to speak as themselves, and they massively improve when they just go up as themselves. If you’re a new comic looking for advice, anyone will tell you do NOT do a character act. Good character acts (like the one we had this Saturday) are a mockery of the character, and reflect how the performer really feels about that kind of person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *