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Stand-Up Comedy Shines During a Tough Time for Music Touring

Social media and streaming services are spurring demand for live comedy acts, which are much easier to produce

Sebastian Maniscalco performs onstage in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 12, 2021.

Sebastian Maniscalco performs onstage in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 12, 2021.

Photographer: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Over the past two years, Covid-19 battered the live entertainment industry with illness, lockdowns, closures, postponements and capacity restrictions. But in the same time period, talent agents have seen a revival in stand-up comedy, driven partly by surprisingly strong demand for live shows.

“We’ve got more acts touring in a bigger way, really than ever before,” said Matt Blake, the head of the comedy touring department for Creative Artists Agency.