A warm-up comedian or crowd warmer is a stand-up comedian who performs at a comedy club or before the filming of a television comedy in front of a studio audience to get the crowd into the mood ready for the show or main act. More rarely, a comedian will open for a music concert. Their role is to make the audience feel integral to the show and encourage reactions during the show.
They usually work alone and perform a comedy routine while also possibly explaining aspects of the show. They will also perform during commercial breaks. Some warm-up routines before talk shows involve giving prizes to audience members. The use of warm-ups dates back before television to radio shows.
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