Comedy Evaluator Pro (CEP) is a web-based software application that can now be easily used with both mobile and desktop devices to review recorded audio or video stand-up comedy performances in order to:
- Provide an objective indication of an overall comedy performance levels.
- Provide detailed PAR event data (laughter, cheering and applause) to help identify specific areas for performance improvement.
If you can operate a couple of easy-to-use buttons, you have the ability to obtain the most detailed and objective comedy performance data available, which can then be used for specific performance improvement.
Let’s start at the beginning so that you can fully understand what CEP can do for you when it comes to squeezing the most laughter possible from your stand-up comedy performances.
What Happens When A Comedian Performs
When a comedian hits the stage to deliver their stand-up comedy act, two specific and measurable events occur:
1. The comedian is talking and delivering their stand-up comedy routine or…
2. The audience is responding to the comedian’s act with laughter, cheering and/or applause (Positive Audience Response or PAR for short).
Headline level comedians are able to consistently generate an average of 18 or more seconds of PAR during their performances.
This can also be expressed as a average PAR Score of 30 or more for any given performance (which is nothing more than the percent of a performance that resulted in PAR).
There is no need to be concerned with any sort of math calculations when using Comedy Evaluator Pro — that aspect is all done automatically.
Note: Specific usage directions for each version of CEP (mobile/desktop) are provided in the Members Area.
Practical Use Of The Software
While any performance length can be evaluated by CEP, the most practical use of the software is for:
1. Short sets (5 minutes or less) when parts of your stand-up comedy routine are not reaching the PAR levels/frequency that you desire.
2. When you are performing new and untested material comedy material integrated with already proven and effective stand-up comedy material.
3. Comparing the same comedy set for consistency when delivered to different audiences.
There are three instances when using CEP is of little no no value:
Instance #1: The comedian does not have their comedy material written down on paper or with a word processor. In this instance it would be difficult at best to correlate the evaluation data provided by CEP with a comedian’s comedy material in order to make adjustments in any sort of meaningful way.
Instance #2: The comedian is not generating any laughs during a performance. Without laughs to evaluate, all aspects of comedian performance need work and CEP won’t help in that regard.
Instance #3: Each individual minute of a comedian’s performance meets or exceeds 18 seconds of laughter. While certainly not impossible to improve performing minutes with high level laughter, the greater the number of seconds of laughter above 18 seconds for any given performing minute, the likelihood of being able to improve that material drops dramatically.
But for the vast majority of comedians, CEP can be a valuable tool for performance improvement, whether it be for a particular bit, an entire chunk or a complete set from beginning to end.
So let’s talk about how CEP can help you improve your comedy performances using the data it produces.
Using The CEP Evaluation Data
The simple process of starting an evaluation, recording the beginning and end of each PAR event during a performance and stopping the evaluation at the end of a performance using CEP provides two types of valuable information: a broad overview and a detailed analysis.
I will discuss both types of evaluation, keeping this in mind:
Again, the goal is to approach, meet or exceed an average of 18 seconds of PAR or a PAR Score of 30 (headliner level performance) with the highest consistency possible for the greatest possibility of advancement as a comedian.
Overall Performance Data
Once a performance evaluation has been concluded, a Show Report button appears on the CEP Main Control Panel. This button leads to overall performance data and a minute-by-minute analysis of an evaluated comedy performance. Let’s talk about the overall performance data first.
The overall performance data for any comedy performance evaluated provided on the Evaluation Report is provided in the overall average seconds of laughter and the PAR Score for the duration of the entire evaluation period conducted.
Note: The average seconds of laughter recorded for duration of any performance and the associated PAR Score are exactly the same base value.
The PAR Score is merely a representation of the percentage (ratio) of the number of seconds of PAR in relation to the duration of performance evaluated. This dual representation is provided for personal preference only — some people prefer the PAR Score representation over the average seconds of laughter representation and vice versa.
Note: At least 1 minute of a performance must be evaluated in order to accurately calculate and display overall performance data.
While this information is great for knowing an overall performance level for any particular performance period evaluated, it represents an average of all minutes (and the partial minute beyond the first minute) of the performance evaluated. In other words…
Some minutes of your performance can be on fire, while other minutes not so much. So in order to pinpoint the areas of your act that need the most attention first when it comes to improving your performances, the detailed evaluation data is the key to getting some very specific and targeted information that you can use for performance improvement.
The Detailed Evaluation Data
In addition to the overall performance data, detailed minute-by-minute PAR data is provided in the following metrics
Metric 1: The total seconds of PAR recorded for each individual minute of the performance evaluation. The most important thing this number reveals at a glance is that it identifies minutes of your performance that need to be reviewed for adjustment, rework, editing or deletion first.
Always focus any performance improvement actions with the minutes of your act that are generating the lowest number of seconds of laughter.
But it will be the next two metrics that will help you pinpoint what exactly you need to improve in order to increase the number of seconds of PAR in any given minute…
Metric 2: The number of PAR events for each performing minute. Audience laughs (PAR events) are generated by punchlines . As a general rule, 4-6 punchlines (with the resulting laughs) are needed to generate 18 or more seconds of laughter in any given performing minute. So this number can reveal several important things in any given minute:
Punchlines that are not generating measurable laughs and or…
Set-up lines are too long which automatically reduces the number of punchlines you can deliver in any given minute.
Metric 3: The duration of every PAR event (in seconds) in every individual performance minute evaluated. This is a direct indicator of the laughter generation power of any particular punchline in any particular minute of an evaluated performance as well as potential laughter pause issues that can shorten laughs.
Punchline power. This metric can help a comedian accurately determine exactly which of their punchlines are not just working but just how well they are working and to prioritize those punchlines that may need adjustment or rework. Stronger punchlines equate to longer laughs. Weaker punchlines equate to shorter laughs.
Note: This metric may also be an indicator that an improved laughter response may be possible from rearranging comedy material to place the punchlines getting the longest laughs at the end of a particular bit or topic and the shorter laughs for that bit or topic in the beginning.
Talking over laughs. Audience can’t hear a comedian talk when they are laughing – subsequently, they will abruptly stop laughing into order to continue listening to the comedian (commonly referred to as talking over laughs). Short PAR events may indicate this is occurring and warrants review of the recording being evaluated to determine if there is an issue with a punchline or the comedian cut the laugh short by talking too soon before the laugh allowed to happen in its entirety.
Important: Provided a comedian’s comedy material is written down on paper or using a word processor, the evaluation data generated by CEP can be correlated specifically with exact sections in any performance to identify needed improvements and the possible reasons why.
Objective Vs. Subjective Feedback
It should be obvious that the real value of using CEP for performance evaluations is to pinpoint which exact part(s) need the most attention for improvement first AND to provide objective feedback on any changes that have been made for performance improvement.
But there is another important aspect of using CEP that you may not be aware of…
When used properly to conduct performance evaluations of your stand-up comedy routine, you get what most comedians NEVER get which is:
Getting concrete objective feedback versus subjective feedback on your true level of comedy performances performance and the laughter generation power of your act. Here’s why this is so important…
Individual feedback from another comedian, audience members or anyone else for that matter tends to be largely, if not completely subjective in nature. Not only that, individual feedback can also be very inaccurate, specifically:
Comedians can be told they did well or OK, when it fact they did not do well at all.
Comedians can also be told that they merely did OK or had a good set, when in fact they slayed the audience during a performance.
Combine that with the fact that subjective feedback rarely helps a comedian pinpoint all the areas of their stand-up comedy act that need improvement or the areas that don’t need to be adjusted or revised at all.
CEP is based on actual measurements of laughter, cheering and/or applause events that occurred during a performance. In other words,
CEP lets you know you are killing audiences with your stand-up comedy routine AND at what level you are truly working at without the need for any subjective feedback at all.
CEP also lets you know exactly which parts of your stand-up comedy act may need work first for better performances, again without the need for subjective feedback that usually provides only minimal help if any.
This is why Comedy Evaluator Pro can give any comedian a significant edge when it comes quickly and efficiently developing the most powerful and tight stand-up comedy act possible.