EP 11 – Geoff Whiting – Founder and owner of Mirth Control Comedy Clubs and Management

Ask The Industry Podcast Comments

EP 11 – Geoff Whiting – Founder and owner of Mirth Control Comedy Clubs and Management

Total run time: 2 hours 18 mins 46 secs.


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About The Geoff Whiting…

Geoff Whiting is a comedian who started performing 19 years ago. He founded Mirth Control from his house without a phone during a period of unemployment. In the past 18 years Mirth has run thousands of gigs, corporates and more!

Here are a list of the questions we covered.

Gigging for Mirth Control…

  • Realistically how many gigs per year can a comedian get with Mirth? [8 mins 0 secs]
  1. Dave Thompson
  2. Peter White
  3. Dane Alexander


  • How many gigs does Mirth actually run and how often? [9 mins 14 secs]
  • You often post “cannot have performed at this venue for X number of months” is this just for a rotation of acts or something more? [9 mins 30 secs]
  • What’s the progression ladder like within Mirth (for both MC and sets)? [12 mins 45 secs]
  • The value of word of mouth for an act [16 mins 18 secs]
  1. Dominic Frisby
  2. Lee Nelson
  3. Laurence Tuck
  4. Obonjo
  5. Andrew Watts
  • If we do an open spot for you, what’s the best way of asking for feedback if you’re there and if you’re not attending the gig? [24 mins 04 secs]
  1. Geoff on Facebook
  • Who will / won’t you book and why? [26 mins 14 secs]
  • What happened with Jenny Collier last year? [29 mins 08 secs]
  • Thoughts on the Union for Comedians [38 mins 50 secs]
  • Thoughts on venues which ask for performers to be removed for any reason other than talent. [40 mins 58 secs]
  • Does Mirth do all female nights? Should they even exist? [44 mins 42 secs]
  • How does Mirth plan their bills to keep variety? [46 mins 50 secs]
  • How involved are you (Mirth) in picking acts for gigs and how much does the venue have a say in who performs? [47 mins 35 secs]
  • How do you select acts from the application mail out? [48 mins 55 secs]
  • Ask him if the priority for acts to be able to drive? [50 mins 35 secs]
  1. Nat Luurtsema
  • Will you allow the driver to say who is and isn’t allowed in their car? [1 hour 0 mins 08 secs]
  • Do you ever priorities local acts to a venue? [1 hour 2 mins 31 secs]
  • Do you book any pay-to-play / bringer gigs? [1 hour 4 mins 08 secs]
  • Do you think they should exist? [1 hour 4 mins 08 secs]
  • What makes a good comedy night (as a performer and as a promoter)? [1 hour 12 mins 36 secs]
  • Do you have 1 tip for a comedian who wants to do your club and wants to progress up the ranks? [1 hour 9 mins 12 secs]
  • What are the main “pet peeves” or stupid habits of comedians applying for gigs with you? [1 hour 9 min 16 secs]
  1. Hils Jago Podcast
  • If you already do paid MC gigs can you apply for the paid MC spots or do you have to apply for open spots first? [14 mins 19 secs]
  • You said in an interview with TimeOut that one of the biggest downsides to your job at Mirth is that some comedians think you owe them a living. What are the things they do that annoy you? [1 hour 14 mins 29 secs]
  1. Stephen Grant
  2. CK Productions

  • If you have to cancel is it better for the comedian to find a replacement or do you have your own reserve list? [1 hour 28 mins 00 secs]
  • Do you penalise comedians who cancel at short notice? [1 hour 28 mins 00 secs]
  • His thoughts on cancelling. And agents booking gigs only to find better ones nearer the time.
  • What’s it like when your agent books Mirth? [1 hour 35 mins 22 secs]
  • What are the different types of comedians, and how would you define them / what you’re looking for? [2 hour 3 mins 38 secs]
  1. Nina Conti
  2. Inder Manocha


  • You said in TimeOut that you can basically guarantee any act you sign can make a living off the live circuit you provide. Does that mean they mainly gig in your clubs?
    [1 hour 40 mins 27 secs]
  • Does your management only focus on the live circuit?  [1 hour 42 mins 38 secs]
  • What can someone who signs to Mirth expect you to do for them? Are you only a live booker or do you also do TV as well? [1 hour 44 mins 50 secs]
  • As an agent what do you look for in an act? [1 hour 47 mins 21 secs]
  1. Iszi Lawrence Podcast


  • When it comes to one of your acts doing an Edinburgh show, do you help with that / support it? [1 hour 49 mins 51 secs]
  • A number of Mirth acts do Fringe shows, like Matt Price & Yianni this year. Do you sort out their venues? [1 hour 49 mins 51 secs]
  • Have you ever thought about running Mirth venues in Edinburgh? [1 hour 49 mins 51 secs]
  • Do you take a cut of your acts Edinburgh show? [1 hour 54 mins 27 secs]
  • When you go to Edinburgh are you an act or a promoter or an agent? [1 hour 54 mins 53 secs]


  • Who are your favourite comedians? [1 hour 57 mins 00 secs]
  • Recommended reading? [2 hours 11 mins 44 secs]
  • Gene PerretNew Comedy Writing Step by Step“He is always right. Simple things like, when you walk out, take the mic out the stand, then move the stand to one side. Don’t act like you’re worried to touch the mic. Or hide behind it. He’s always right.”
  • Favorite shows? [1 hour 57 mins 00 secs]
  1. Chris Dangerfield
  2. Matt Price
  3. Alan Francis
  4. Eddie Peppertone
  5. Marcel Lucont
  6. Sol Bernstein
  7. Earl Okin
  8. Svetlana the Oligarch’s Wife

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Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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