As the proprietor of (not even) arguably one of the most popular microphones in the history of comedy, I thought I would share a few tips that will hopefully make every open microphone that exists the absolute best microphone ever.
If you'd like tips on how to improve your open mic, please follow me on Twitter (@brianbiancardi) or on Facebook.
Name the microphone after the location
The first pitfall for new open microphones (or open mics for short) is to start them at places that are already established as other things. Wanna start a mic at a bar? Good luck! People won’t know whether they’re going there to drink or run their tight five! How about a coffee shop? No thank you! I like my coffee black and without jokes please. What you want to do is start a mic in a place that doesn’t have a name or purpose. Ideally you’ll want to build a brand new structure that has no history. I was able to whip up a perfect little room in my back yard using pieces of scrap wood I found around the house. I’m no Jesus, but the carpentry work was pretty solid. Since I made the structure, I got to pick the name too! I decided to name it something inviting and to the point that wouldn’t confuse hungry comics. I landed on The Murder Room because people love horror movies and love feeling like they are in a horror movie. It certainly helps that my space feels like a real life murder room. How do I know it feels like a murder room? Um… I’ve lost count on how many comedians say that at the beginning of their set. Also, I can’t count.
Get a cohost you can trust with your life (and have also explored sexually)
The search for a cohost is challenging. Hell I thought I could host without a cohost for ages but I learned if you host without a cohost, you’re gonna have a bad time. All kinds of situations can pop up! Maybe you’re hosting and then you realize “oh no! I have to let someone in my house because I forgot to build a bathroom in your back house!” (some carpenter, huh?) Maybe you’re up on stage and you pull a hamstring (it happens more than you think!). Maybe you’re hosting and then a domestic disturbance happens across your street and then you have to deal with 8 squad cars filling up your street. These are all common scenarios.
My cohost search was easy because I simply had to think of who I had the deepest and most honest sexual connection with. I landed firmly and sensually on Benjamin Avery. Benjamin and I met weirdly at Akbar in Los Angeles, CA. We connected because we both “had friends there that just left a little bit ago.” We danced for hours and discussed which number was our favorite out of 9 and 11 (those are the only numbers I know since I can’t count). One thing led to another and now we cohost together every single week.
Make sure you have a solid gimmick
At The Murder Room we have tons of gimmicks. If you’re not sure what a gimmick is, it’s basically a meme in real life. We have a light that changes colors to help add color to your jokes. Are your brand new Donald Trump jokes not getting the laughs they deserve? Try the jokes while being doused in red light for Republicans!! Or blue light for oceans! or even hot pink for the color of lips! If the color works, then you’ve got yourself a solid new joke that needs to have light added to it every time.
If the lights aren’t a good enough real life meme, I’ll get the crowd to start chanting “MURDER MURDER MURDER!” This is meant to encourage the next comedian to kill or slaughter or slay. (for you non comedians reading, these are all terms for “doing very very well”). By using these synonyms, the comedian gets out of their head and into their material.
If the lights and the “MURDER” chant doesn’t work, you can always just show everyone your dick. Not right away. Tease the audience and make them think you’re going to do it, then don’t. Then tease them again. Then don’t. Finally! Tease them a third time and then whip that puppy out. For girls you’re going to want to whip your kitty out.
You have GOT to play trap music between each comic
I know this one seems like a no brainer to most, but I’ve got to put it in here because some people out there will @ me and be like “Brian, I did everything else you said and my mic still isn’t lit!” Well this is the key ingredient to getting your mic LIT! The most important part about playing the trap music is so that you as the host gets lit. If the host is lit, they as the comedians get lit. Once comedians get lit, they stay lit which allows the audience (also comedians) to get lit! If everyone at the mic isn’t gettin’ lit, they’re gonna fall asleep. And if everyone is asleep then no one is gonna be woke. And if no one is woke then you might as well throw out all of your progressive jokes about race.