How Comedy Evaluator Pro Was Developed

You may find this surprising, but my Comedy Evaluator Pro software and the PAR Score system was actually the result from a single question that I could not answer. And it wasn’t a comedian who asked the question.

It was the top corporate executive for Club Med in Cancun, Mexico at the time who asked the question I couldn’t answer.

Here’s what happened…

In the summer of 2003, I was invited to Club Med in Cancun for a consulting gig to evaluate their comedy shows for possible improvement.

At the end of the week, the top executive at the resort asked me if I could help them. I said that I certainly could. Then he asked this question that threw me for a loop:

“If we hire you as a consultant, how will we know we are making quantifiable improvements?”

I stood there like a deer in the headlights. Immediately, I knew that there was really no way for me to “quantify” something as seemingly subjective as comedy — at least not without some thought.

I also knew that business, especially big business operates based on numbers—the most accurate numbers they can produce.

I told him that I would get back to him with the answer. I was up for three days straight trying to figure out how to answer that question.

On the fourth day, it finally hit me like a ton of bricks:

There are really only two events that happen during a comedy show:

1. The comedian (or comedy entertainers) is performing or…
2. The audience is laughing, cheering or applauding

It then became clear to me that both of these events were easily measurable. All I needed was a couple of stopwatches and I could quantify real and objectively determined results using a simple ratio of “performing time” vs. “laugh time”.

The bigger the ratio, the better the comedy show based on objectively measured laughter, cheering and applause. Hence—one then has quantifiable performance improvement data.

But it also didn’t take me long to realize that two stopwatches will only provide an overall quality score (PAR Score—Positive Audience Response—laughter, cheering or applause). It doesn’t work well at all for a minute-by-minute performance evaluation. That is the data that you really need to identify areas of improvement.

Realizing those limitations and figuring out how to evaluate each minute of a comedy routine is how the process and the software were born.

This process, along with the software to effectively measure and evaluate each performing minute by a comedian or comedy entertainer was launched in Oct 2003.

So I didn’t just “dream up” the Comedy Evaluator Pro comedy performance system as just another thing to sell comedians.

It was developed in response to a question about quantifiable comedy improvement that I simply could not answer at the time.

Now, I have comedians all over the world evaluating and improving their acts based on a really simple, objective process — unless the software is not being used properly of course.

Does a PAR Score really matter? Only if your goal as a comedian is to cause an audience blow milk out their nose from laughing — even if they haven’t had any in awhile.

I have had a number of so-called “real” comedians try to debunk my software and my system. And I can understand why…

All comedians think they are the “best” at what they do. Who wants software that helps one objectively evaluate performance results that have already happened and can possibly tell a comedian with hard data they really aren’t as funny as they thought they were?

But here’s what I do know…

Comedians who are consistent hitting a PAR Score of 35+ don’t seem to have any complaints about my software or my system and use it without reservation to continue to improve.

It’s the comedians who CAN’T reach a 30-35 PAR Score that seem to have the issues, oddly enough.

Oh well, I can’t please everyone, nor do I intend to. My job is to help truly funny people realize their stand-up dreams and goals with the very best tools, techniques and strategies possible.

And I’m not stopping, no matter what the less-than-hilarious naysayers care to dish out.

So there you go. That’s how Comedy Evaluator Pro was brought to life.

Steve Roye