I need WHAT kind of comedian? What is a corporate comedian and why you need one!
By Brad Montgomery CSP
Let's face it. Life today is complicated at best. It's often difficult. And it is sometimes… well… yucky. All we need to do to confirm our stresses is to look over the front page of the newspaper and we know that what we really need is a good laugh.
Companies and associations turn to corporate comedians to provide their employees with a break from the difficulties of the times. Whether they need to give their folks a break from a day of learning important – but often dry – information from industry speakers, or they want to make them feel appreciated and valued, or if they want to kick off or close a convention with a bang, a corporate comedian can be the answer.
Brad Montgomery is a very funny corporate comedian and speaker. He knows how to take a group of well-educated, sophisticated, been-there-and-done-that people and shake them right out of their chairs.
What's the difference between a comedian and a “corporate” comedian?
That's an easy one. A corporate comedian is a comedian who is clean, safe and appropriate for today's business audiences. It's a comedian who can make convention and meeting audiences howl with laughter w/o some of the “blue humor” that is so common in nightclubs.
Brad Montgomery puts it this way: “A corporate comedian's show is safe for everybody. When I work my clients expect it to be funny without it being offensive. And I mean offensive to anybody.” Brad leaves out any references to race, sex, gender,.. you get the idea.
“Not only do we not need those topics to make them laugh, but I figure that the meeting planners and I don't ever want to get a letter about something on the edge or near the margin of inappropriate humor. I keep it absolutely crystal clean and safe…. I don't want the headache. Besides… if I make them laugh so hard they are crying, who's gonna notice that it is clean and safe anyway?”
Brad’s theory is that a great corporate comedian is so funny that folks never notice that it is clean. “Sure, I occasionally have folks from the audience thank me for keeping it clean. But the truth is that most people don't notice it. They would absolutely notice it if I was cursing my way through the after dinner entertainment, but when it is clean they are free to focus on the fun.”
“I think I've more or less failed if the only good thing about my program that folks can comment upon is that I didn't cuss. I want them laughing and laughing hard…. And the fact that it is a show that is clean enough for everybody from my 94 year old grandmother to my 4 year old son shouldn't be the main point.
“As I tell folks all the time… not only is my program funny and inoffensive to my grandmother, it is funny and inoffensive to everybody's grandmother!”
Corporate comedian Brad Montgomery also considers himself a business humorist and funny motivational speaker.
Magic is also a big part of Brad’s programs. “I got my start years ago as a magician. I did night clubs and cruise ships; and I did over 250 college performances. But now much of my time is spent working as a corporate magician and comedian to association and corporate audiences all across the country. “
“The magic is something that I'm proud of,” continues Montgomery. “I've won awards for my magic and I'm proud of it. At the same time, I don't mind telling you that most of the folks in my audience never leave talking about the amazing tricks. Instead, they are all talking about how funny the show is.”
Brad uses his corporate magic as a tool to get to a more personalized comedy. He gets folks from the audience out of their seats and up on the stage to help with the magic tricks. The magic happens to them and by them, which is really popular with his convention audiences.
But the best part, according to Montgomery, is the comedy that happens during the interaction between him and his audience “volunteers.” “I basically start to interview them while they are with me up on stage. We talk about their jobs, their industries and their joys and concerns relating to their occupation. We also end up talking about the meeting itself: the food, the hotel, whatever is going on.”
The result is hilarious. The comedy resulting from this interaction is impromptu, funny, and always surprising. Sure, the start of the whole interaction is the magic tricks… but the result is way more than just a baffling magical illusion. The result is corporate entertainment that cannot be repeated.
“One of the characteristics that I enjoy about my job is that since I have no idea what folks are going to say on stage, there is no way to prepare. Sure, I've had years of experience and can rely on that for help. But in the end it is all a surprise. I love that on-the-spot element of comedy. But I know the audience loves it too. They love that their comedian is making up a huge bulk of the show in front of their eyes. And they love that they are getting a show created just for them and that the next night, when I'm in Pittsburg working for Plumbers, or in Arizona working for accountants, or in Indiana working for insurance sales folks… you get the idea… they know that nobody will ever get the same show that they are seeing. It makes this form of corporate comedy fresh, exciting, and really funny.”
Brad Montgomery customizes his program to meet his clients needs… exactly. Part of the process of booking Brad includes either filling out a short questionnaire via email or spending a few minutes with Brad on the phone so that he can customize and tailor his program to each group's specific challenges, hot-buttons, and inside jargon. “Not only does tailoring my material make the programs more meaningful for the folks in the audience; it makes it funnier! Sure, we can joke about stresses at work in general… but when we talk specifically about – for example – filling out the Year End Form 123C, people really relate. And the laughter is all the much better for it.”
Although Brad is based in Denver, Colorado, he takes his funny speeches and motivational comedy across the United States and across the world. He has worked in 48 of the 50 states, but ends up working in some states more than others. He is probably most frequently in Colorado performing corporate comedy, but also frequently travels to Texas, California, Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, and New York to provide his brand of business humor.