Boxoffice Insider: Comedy Gets Serious With Steve Martin / Martin Short, Kevin Hart, Martin Lawrence, #IMomSoHard

Steve Martin / Martin Short
Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
– Steve Martin / Martin Short
during American Film Institute

There’s nothing funny about comedy taking up a full 10 spots on Pollstar’s Global Concert pulse this week, with everyone from arena headliner Kevin Hart (No. 27) to standup legend / bluegrass enthusiast Steve Martin (No. 41) to YouTube mommy vloggers #IMomSoHard, in at No. 92 with an average gross of $73,100 per show.
Kevin Hart is undoubtedly tops of the comed touring game right now, long established as an arena headliner and in 2015 coming in at No. 12 for the year worldwide with more than $82 million grossed on a staggering 137 shows, with that dollar figure putting him in the same league as pop culture mainstays like Paul McCartney, Elton John and Madonna. 
This year’s “Irresponsible” tour is sure to give 2015 a run for its money, as the star has another 130-plus shows booked into late October, with stops clear across the world including three at The O2 London, a full run in Australia, and even dates in markets like Iceland, Norway and … Milwaukee. Over the last three months his average gross per show is just shy of $900,000, while 2015’s worldwide run, over the whole thing, averaged a little more than $750,000 per market. 
Martin Lawrence
Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
– Martin Lawrence
Lit AF at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles April 5.
One comedy tour that has just wrapped up (and reported in full) is the Martin Lawrence-hosted “Lit AF Tour” that included Adele Givens, DeRay Davis, Michael Blackson, Benji Brown, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” alum J.B. Smoove, which sold 159,291 tickets and grossed $10.3 million on 16 shows from late March to mid-June.
Standout reports include June 9 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., which sold out at 13,260 tickets and grossed $890,972, May 11 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, which sold 11,989 tickets and grossed $714,234, and a double at Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles April 5-6, which sold a combined 13,862 tickets and grossed $944,774. The tour is No. 35 on the Concert Pulse with an average gross of $604,953.
The Steve Martin / Martin Short co-bill “An Evening You’ll Forget For The Rest of Your Life” proves you can have the best of both worlds. As a bluegrass enthusiast who in recent years has mostly toured with the Steep Canyon Rangers, this jaunt marks a return to laugh-getting for Martin, with reports of the “Father Of The Bride” star even doing a bit of “Wild And Crazy Guy” antics from his “Saturday Night Live” days. 
The mostly PAC run has taken the two comedy legends to venues including Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, which sold 4,974 tickets (theatre configuration) and grossed $463,659 June 29; two nights at the Beacon Theatre in New York May 4-5 (5,432, $841,543); and another two at the Borward Ctr. Au-Rene Theatre in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which sold 5,028 tickets and grossed $721,145.
The tour, which continues into November in North America, is at No. 41 on the Pulse with an average gross of $399,089.

And, just to not leave any comedy format out, the #IMomSoHard tour has proven to be an effective concert draw, moving an average of 1,668 tickets and grossing $73,099 per night on an average ticket priced at $43.82, with venues including Vina Robles Amphitheatre in central California (1,022, $46,318), Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee (2,293, $94,361) and Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Ill., which sold 2,303 tickets and grossed just under $100,000. 
“Mom’s Night Out: Round II,” with the mom tag team of Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, continues into December, ending at Boston’s Chevalier Theatre Dec. 9. 
Other comedy tours on the Global Concert Pulse, which means ones that have submitted touring data over the last three months, include Jerry Seinfeld  (No. 48, average gross $309,362); Jeff Dunham (No. 43, $346,618); “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (No. 50, $276,879); “Mr. Fluffy” Gabriel Iglesias (No. 65, $177,781) and “Tater Salad” himself Ron White (No. 77, $118,345).
Another to keep an eye on is Jo Koy, who has a lot of dates coming up through December including four nights at Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, in November. 
That could break a record he already set with 11 sold-out shows and more than 23,000 tickets sold to the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in the same city last November, the most ever by a comedian in the state. 
That run was reported to Pollstar as grossing $869,795.
“I just can’t believe the incredible love and support Hawaii has been showing me,” Koy told Pollstar via email when the fourth Blaisdell Arena show was added. “I was only supposed to go on sale with one show this week, and now I’m adding a fourth. This ‘Break The Mold’ tour has been insane this year. 
“Adding multiple arena shows was not expected at all and now I’m told I could break a record at the Blaisdell Arena where iconic artists like Journey have played! It’s so surreal and crazy. I’ll keep adding more shows as long as Hawaii will have me.” 
Koy’s manager, Joe Meloche of Arsonhouse Entertainment and who also manages Gabriel Iglesias, told Pollstar more Blaisdell dates could be added.