Is this exploiting comedians? | Hotel seeks 'banter butler' to entertain in exchange for accommodation

Is this exploiting comedians?

Hotel seeks 'banter butler' to entertain in exchange for accommodation

Hotel chain Marriott has been slammed for ‘massively undermining’ the value of comedians after asking them to perform gigs in exchange for accommodation during the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Live Comedy Association has blasted an advert seeking a comic to act as a 'banter butler' entertain guests at the AC Hotel in Glasgow during the festival, 40 miles away.

The ad seeking 'Breakfast Roasters' asked for anyone with an official Fringe show to bring ‘high slappers, side-splitters, zingers, one-liners, and table-side crowd-work  to our wonderful guests during breakfast twice a week for the duration of your run’.

‘We want them "buckled". Think skull and cross bones emoji, think ROFL, think LMFAO, think Noels’ House Party (inter-generational references preferable).’

To apply comics have to send  a video with their favourite breakfast-related joke, with Marriot adding:  ‘If you manage to crack a few eggcellent breakfast puns in there; well we won’t be angry.’

While the advert – and the job – sound toe-curlingly embarrassing, not least for guests who might prefer to dine without a gig going on around them, the position does come with free accommodation at the hotel for the duration of the Fringe, plus free return bus or train fares to Edinburgh each day.

The cheapest room in the recently-opened four-star AC Hotel is £116 a night, so the package could be worth thousands, while the company also promised a vague payment at a ‘rate to be agreed with the candidate.’

However the free room might be moot as comedians will have already sorted their Fringe accommodation, and the closing date for the hotel job is August 7 – a week after the festival begins.

In a statement, the Live Comedy Association said: ‘The Live Comedy Association in no way supports the approach of projects like this and we think it massively undermines the value and worth of comedians.

‘We will continue to support our members, and comedians from across the UK, to receive appropriate financial payment for performances.’

The industry body has recently completed a survey to try to determine the impact of live comedy on the UK economy it order to better lobby decision-makers, with the results yet to be analysed.

Launching the call-out for comedians to take part, Craig Munro, general manager at AC Hotel by Marriott Glasgow said:  'With so many people choosing to stay in Glasgow during the Fringe, we thought we’d like to bring a little bit of the Fringe to our guests – and what better way to start the morning than with a set from one of the performers. We always look for new ways to surprise and delight guests. 

'We’ve all heard stories of how performers can be priced out of Edinburgh. We hope this can make the experience a little easier for them and create some special memories for our guests.  I’m a big fan of comedy so I’m excited to watch the applications, and we look forward to hiring our first breakfast comedian!'

Thanks for reading. If you find Chortle’s coverage of the comedy scene useful or interesting, please consider supporting us with a monthly or one-off ko-fi donation.
Any money you contribute will directly fund more reviews, interviews and features – the sort of in-depth coverage that is increasingly difficult to fund from ever-squeezed advertising income, but which we think the UK’s vibrant comedy scene deserves.

Published: 9 Jul 2024

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.