How to Make Money as a Comedian: Turn Laughter to Money

Becoming a comedian sounds like it would be incredibly easy to make money. After all, you’re just telling people jokes, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not that easy. Turning your joke into an act isn’t always enough to become successful in comedy. 

Comedy is an art that can also be a source of income. Are you funny and want to make money with comedy? This is the guide for you. This blog lists some great ideas on how to make money as a comedian. These tips can help you make it big in the comedy business.

Quick Review 

Looking to skim through the major points and head out? Here is where you’ll find it.

  • Start with stand-up at comedy clubs 
  • Do college comedy shows 
  • Run comedy social media accounts 
  • Maintain a blog about humor or comedy
  • Write punch up for tech speakers
  • Host comedy shows 
  • Cast yourself in TV or movies
  • Teach improv classes at schools/colleges
  • Write and sell jokes
  • Work on developing an act for corporate events

Detailed Review 

Please read the following section to digest the points listed above. Below I have provided tips about addressing each point. Reading this will give you more insight into how to make money from your passion as a comedian. 

1. Start with stand-up at comedy clubs 

If you are a comedian, you already know what you need to do. However, if you are not a comedian, maybe this is the time to learn one of the funniest skills in the world. At first, you may have to work at comedy clubs, but if you persist, you will gain the attention of producers and agencies. 

If you’re a natural performer, comedy club bookers will soon be approaching you about performing gigs on the weekends at their club. Today’s top comedians are making hundreds of thousands of dollars or even have found ways to make millions of dollars doing stand-up comedy.

Stand-up comedy is fun and funny and if you can get an audience laughing and like you…then you’ll make money as a stand-up comedian.

2. Do college comedy shows 

Comedy is no longer an underground art form. Colleges are hungry for funny material, and more than willing to pay decent money to bring some humor to their student bodies.

Anyone can do college shows. Just as you’d do a stand-up show in a bar, you just need to find the right schools to play. You can use college comedy show directories or put out a casting call on craigslist or the comedy store message board to find colleges that are looking for acts.

This is one of the best ways to make money as a comedian. Many colleges offer troupe shows that pay anywhere from $200 – $1,000 for an hour set. However, make sure your style of comedy is appropriate for the schools you are applying to.

SEE: Easiest ways to make money in college

3. Run comedy social media accounts 

At its core, a comedy social media account is an Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube account that shares jokes from established comedians. There are millions of people who enjoy a good laugh on social media. 

It is possible to attract thousands of subscribers to your account even with short, meaningful, and funny content. When more people find your content interesting, they are likely to click on your ads and you will be able to make money. 

There are many ways to profit from advertising on social media, and they differ according to the platform, but they are all available. In today’s world, humor is a sure way to lift people’s spirits.

But how do you get there? Create a presence on the biggest social networks, promote yourself, engage audience members, and add a unique touch to stand out amongst the crowd.

SEE: Best social media automation tools to increase engagement

4. Maintain a blog about humor or comedy

A blog is an excellent resource for any comedian who wants to make money. The ability to blog your opinions, related news, experiences, etc. are all helpful resources you can use to name yourself as the “expert” on the topic of humor or comedy.

SEE: Best blogging platforms for beginners and experienced bloggers

Some ways to make money as a comedian from a comedy blog

  • Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is a major way in which comedians make money from their blogs. You refer people to buy products and you get paid. Listed below are the best affiliate marketing strategies that you can use to make money.

SEE: How to make money with affiliate marketing

  • Ad networks: You can make money from ad networks since it’s a comedy blog. Using them and displaying them is all that you need to do; they will then serve as your intermediary to advertisers. 

5. Write punch up for tech speakers

Every presenter who uses PowerPoint will end up writing their own slides eventually. Most of the time, they are pretty bad, but what can you do? I think you should become the go-to person for tech speaker punch up. 

What can be more fun than getting paid to see if you can make your pet area of expertise more compelling? To implement this idea, build a list of all the tech companies that are based in your area. Reach out to them and offer your services. 

This will take some hustle, but if you are really good at what you do, you can charge a very high fee. It is well worth it to invest in presentation quality since it can make or break how attendees perceive the lesson.

6. Host ComedySshows 

Hosting comedy shows is a great way to make money as a comedian. There are countless opportunities. You can host at existing clubs or bars, or find an opportunity to start your own show in any location that would be willing to host you.

This is not about hosting an annual gala, but rather throwing monthly shows in your community. As a comedian who wants to make money, ask bar owners if they would like to offer comedy shows and then strike up a partnership with them. 

The goal is to build the community and also to sell tickets. Besides, hosting a comedy show has become a popular way to promote your act. You get to try out new material, while the venue attracts fresh customers.

7. Feature Yourself in a Movie or TV Show

You can make money as a comedian in many ways, but one of the most direct ways is to get in front of audiences in show business. You can be a TV or movie star in front of the camera, or create content for television shows about comedy.

A source of residual income is the best kind because you’re paid over and over again—no matter what. And if you can add a “legendary” to your credit by being in a hit film or television show, all the better.  

A surprising number of well-known comedians got their start as extras. From Eddie Murphy to the cast of Saturday Night Live to Christopher Guest, being a background player can be a great way to hone your skills and snag some exposure during a performance. 

It’s even easier today with the proliferation of reality TV, web series, and other opportunities. Plus, once you’ve appeared on a few shows, you’ll have a reel of material you can use to promote your stand-up appearances.

8. Teach Improv Classes at Schools/Colleges

If you’re a good actor and a good comedian then teaching improv classes at schools/colleges is a great way to earn some extra cash. People have tried to teach the psychology of being funny for years, so if you can teach it, you can make a lot of money.

Improv or short for improvisation theater is the art of making up a play as you go along (with all the drama and funny lines) on the spot based on suggestions from your audience.

 A lot of comedians don’t even know that it’s something that they could do to earn some money, so it’s easy for students to get bookings. A tip for short-term comedy work is to teach comedy classes during the summer. 

The money isn’t huge, but it can help you cover some of your expenses while you’re out of work. Plus, you won’t have to miss the beginning of the season because you’re at work.

SEE: Best online teaching jobs

9. Write and Sell Jokes

Everyone loves a good joke. One of the easiest ways to make money as a comedian is to write great jokes and sell them to other comedians, comedy clubs, and media outlets. Most comedians write their own material, so why not get paid for jokes you think are funny? 

Listen to what people are saying on TV or radio, or overhear them talking. With a little editing, you could have multiple versions of the same joke. Why not write some topics down on notecards, then try selling your versions of the gag at open mic nights for between $15 and $30. 

As you get better known in your area, maybe newspapers or magazines will pay you to write an article with your jokes in it.

10. Work on Developing an Act for Corporate Events

A comedian need not make all their money from club appearances. A night at a corporate event, party, or private function can be a valuable source of income, as most will offer a decent fee. As a comedian, becoming more marketable through corporate events is a good move.

Besides, a corporate comedy show is a funny, little secret that pops up on some company’s holiday calendar.  The CEO or executive director of the corporation is shocked, but the employees are delighted to have their boss lighten up. 

You as a good comedian will not only keep the audience laughing themselves, but they’ll also remember why they love their job and it can boost productivity for weeks afterward.

How Much Money Can You Make as a Comedian?

Stand-up comedians earn on average $30-45 for each show. Based on the type of comedy job they choose to pursue, professional comedians can earn anywhere between $15,000 and $120,000 per year. 

You can also make over $500,000 per night if you host a show that is sold out. Kevin Harts, Dave Chapelle, and Chris Rock are examples in this regard.

FAQs

What’s the best way to learn stand-up comedy?

The best way to learn stand-up comedy is to do it. Without question, there is no better way to learn the art and craft of stand-up than by performing on stage and doing lots and lots of shows.

Is comedy considered a full-time job?

Comedians don’t work a five-day, 40-hour workweek like most other jobs. So if you’re hoping to make money as a comedian, it’s unlikely that you’d be able to do so as your only job. Most comedians incorporate their job as a comedian as one of several different kinds of work they do (such as writing and editing). 

However, as stated above, making money as a comedian requires that you develop multiple streams of revenue – one of which is your comedy – and that’s usually done by performing live regularly and booking paid shows.

What are the prerequisites to being a comedian?

Being funny and telling jokes is not a major requirement. Another thing you should consider is having an outgoing personality and being able to speak in front of a crowd. However, you should be passionate about the craft of comedy. 

Everybody has their style of telling jokes such as observational, self-deprecating, physical, or sarcastic comments. Comedy may or may not be your calling, but persevering will make it possible for you to do things like performing at clubs, benefits, corporate functions, and more.

Final Thoughts 

There are no qualifications to becoming a comedian. Anyone can do it. How difficult it is will be based on how much time and effort you spend practicing and perfecting your craft. Once you’ve honed your skills, these ideas will make you money as a comedian.

So you make ask What if I have other passion asides comedy? That’s lovely, you can make money with your other passion alongside comedy. If you love traveling and holiday locations, see the article on tourism business ideas to make money for travel enthusiasts.

What if it’s writing? This is excellent. Most comedians write books anyways, remember Steve Harvey? He used to be a stand-up comedian. See how to make money as a writer for top ideas to consider.

Whatever your passion or business ideas are, Tosinajy can help you make money with them. 

Visit the blog daily for more fresh, original, and informative content. Thank you for reading.