This article is from the Stand-up Comedy FAQ, by Steven Rosenthal and Steve Silberberg (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
A. Bookers schedule comedians, send photos and bios on the comedians to the
club, arrange radio interviews, send press releases out on new club
openings and special comics, and above all...get the comics the information
they need to get to their gigs.
Bookers who book mainly COMEDY CLUBS are hired because the club owner
simply has gotten fed up with trying to book the room. In all honesty, I've
talked to MANY comedy club owners that say that dealing with all the comics
is just a big fat pain in the ass. That's not to say that ALL comics are a
pain, it's just sometimes taking the calls from everyone looking for work
and dealing with schedule changes and whether or not you have pictures for
the ad becomes a gruesome task. If a club were to try and do this all
themselves, they might find it cost prohibitive because they can't route
dates together and they don't have enough contacts.
There are also many bookers out there who book special events for a variety
of other clients - not just clubs. People call bookers or agents all of the
time looking for talent for an event they are having. Without these
bookers, many road comics would not have the extra work that comes from
these sources simply because the availablity of sources for these "special
clients" would not be as accessible