Markets and comedic performance bonds in everything

Comedian Pete Davidson put on a show Wednesday in San Francisco—but ticketholders weren’t allowed in unless they signed a non-disclosure agreement with a $1 million penalty if broken.

Some attendees said that locking up your cell phone and signing a document that says you won’t share any part of the show on social media is just part of seeing a live show these days.

…Fans who did not want to sign the agreement could get a refund, but it appeared nobody took that option.

Here is the full story, via Ted Gioia.


Yea, I've watched comedians on YouTube, filmed by attendees. That folks think they can film an act and then share it on YouTube reflects the ignorance or self-centeredness of our culture. Rene Girard knew human behavior.

🙄 ...but you're the one watching it, so who's really to blame here?

Where in SF ? How much were tix?

I can't imagine a more boring city than SF.

I can't imagine a more boring comedian (at least male) than Davidson.

The perfect opportunity for ticket scalpers. Buy tickets for resale, if they aren't sold by show time, just refuse to sign the release and get a full refund. :)

Good point. The Drumpf regime is the regime of the Davidsons, Giulianis and the House of Morgan.

Excellent marketing trick by Pete Davidson.

This should be a part of every social invitation. Parties were better before there were kids with cameras everywhere to make sure that any indiscretions went on your permanent record.

I think it's done because comedians are working on jokes and acts in getting them ready for something like a Netflix special. Once everybody knows the jokes they have to come up with a new show. (This based on hearing Joe Rogan talk with comedians about it - making sure their stuff isn't online prior to the special is a big deal).

Having paid the admission fee and signed the NDA, both the performer and the audience member are assured of an original and limited-distribution entertainment. If the comedian uses that material for a widely-distributed performance later (i.e. Netflix), can the original audience sue for breach of contract?

I've seen that story starring Metallica once ;)

I've heard this joke and the crowd was howling in laughter because he was saying what everyone was thinking.

The $million dollar penalty is to make up the costs of dealing with the Twitter mob.

The twitter mob only needs to actually hear about what he said, one assumes. Making this seem more than a bit fatuous on Davidson's part - 'these types of agreements wouldn’t be necessary if people would stop leaking footage.'

Legally, one can see the show, tell a friend, then the friend spreads it on social media.

It appears Axa understands one part of the problem here - penalizing your fans is not a good business model in the longer term.

That's what I did with Jimmy O. Yang. In 2017 in SF he told a racist story about how his property-owning family member (uncle IIRC) would hire black kids to scare away prospective white homeowners from buying or renting from his competitor's homes. Went on Twitter with this.

Gee, I shall have to tell my standup comedian daughter, Sasha, about this. Films of her performances are all over You Tube.

Well? Cite your sources!

But she isn't famous. Youtube is probably is a net benefit for her in terms of publicity.

The sense of entitlement lends me to imagine the entire zip code attending to break it just so they can prove the point that money conquering all reigns supreme

Tyler...any strong feelings about Colin Capernick ?

Even if it did get leaked, I wouldn't watch it. I mean, this is Pete Davidson, not someone actually funny.

It is not clear what “not share in social media” means.

A vídeo recording or audio tape, I understand. But what if somebody write sin his Facebook page “a great joke he heard at the show of [name of this guy]”

This is just a marketing stunt and would never hold in court given how one-sided it is. The layman doesn't even know it's highly unusual to sign an NDA with an indemnity clause.

Comments for this post are closed