The limits of franchising

I’m not 100% sure there are any…

I was talking to a guy recently who was doing something for charity.  Something that filled me full of dread for myself and admiration for him.

He was going to do a five minute stand up comedy routine in a theatre full of 1,000 people.

OMG – 1,000 people!  The silence would be deafening if they don’t laugh.  Tentatively I asked him about his routine, just to see if it was funny and praying that it was.  You be the judge:

Your Parking Wardens in this town are very nice.  I was on my way in to the theatre and one of them put a note on my car.  It said: Parking: Fine!

I decided to have a meal before I came here tonight.  As I went into the restaurant someone threw a prawn salad at me: and that was just for starters!

So, I ordered a rocket salad, but it had gone off!

That got me thinking about home and the Irishman I have lying in my back garden.  His name is Paddy O’Furniture!

I went pale.

It was just going to be carnage.  So, I did the only thing a decent human being could do… a human being who is used to standing up in front of groups of people as a trainer and keeping their attention, who knows exactly the challenges he was going to face…

I wished him luck and ran away.

But then I thought about it in terms of franchising and realised that comedy is simply a well known process and formula.  The process my guy was using included a series of snappy one liners that would be followed by a longer story and finish on a punchline.

In other words the audience would recognise the process and know where to laugh and applaud.  Of course, he might have gone for the observational comedy which is probably more difficult to make work but ultimately funnier… but once again, it is just a process.

I’m not sure a franchise for comedians would work per se, but you get the point.

The most important thing about any franchise is making sure the process is right, is well tested and it works.  If it is, when it gets implemented, franchisees and customers will know when to laugh and when to applaud.  More importantly, they know when to pay!

As for my guy…

His act went down a storm and he (with his colleagues) made £15,000 for charity.  That’s no laughing matter.

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