Pick + Pay Comics in Real Time at NYC’s “Capitalism” Show

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by Jonas Barnes

This Wednesday, January 8th, there’s a new show hitting NYC.

In the Big Apple, there’s no shortage of live entertainment choices on any given night, so you’ve got to be asking me… what’s so special about THIS show? What makes me want to write an article about this specific show?

Well, let me tell you why. It’s because I’m a professional stand up comic and I’ve always believed that the audience will pay you for entertaining them as long as you aren’t shitty at it. And that’s exactly what the new “Capitalism” show aims to do.

The show is the brainchild of pint sized bearded comedians Boris Khaykin & Brian Theriot. They’ve both been around comedy for a long time. Theriot has managed to monetize his other passion (alcoholism…err…”love of beer”) with his successful craft beer & comedy podcast, Kegstand, and he’s looking to do the same with his passion for stand up along with Khaykin.

But it’s not about them as much as it’s about the comics on the show, and seeing them be paid for the job they’re doing on stage live and in real time. As a professional comic, I couldn’t be happier with what they’re doing here.

So what’s the deal with this “Capitalism” thing, anyway? 

  • Each audience member pays $5 to get in.
  • Once the show begins, the comics on stage will have their Venmo name displayed for the audience to see.
  • Each audience member is required to spend $10 (via Venmo) on the comedians as part of their “cover charge”
  • They can also interact with the comics on Venmo during the set as they pay them.

So we’re talking live, interactive, real-time paying of the comics as they perform. $10 is the required amount, but the harder the comic kills, the more they’re likely make from the audience. This is comedic guerrilla warfare, competing for the money in the audience’s digital pockets… and it’s fucking ingenious. For the first time, comics will be getting paid in real time during the show as they’re performing!

The lineup on Wednesdays show includes comics from all walks of life here in NYC. You’ll be seeing Lizzie Martinez, Jim Tews, Tyler Richardson, Derek Humphrey, and the headliner of the evening will be Aaron Berg (recently the subject of an Amazon documentary entitled “25 Sets”).

The show will be on Wednesday, Jan 8th at 9:30pm in the Upstairs Room at The Stand Comedy Club and Restaurant located at 116 E. 16th St. in Manhattan.

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