BACKSTAGE RIDER: Comedy

Kevin James

Kevin James

On TV and in the movies, Kevin James typically plays the schlub. But on tour, the comedian lives large.

According to his 2009 rider, excerpted here, all airline travel by the “King of Queens” star “must be First Class (American Airlines is first choice).” Promoters are also told that once King James lands, he is to be picked up in a “LATE MODEL, BLACK LUXURY LIMOUSINE” and transported to a five-star hotel with a state-of-the-art fitness center. When it comes to two-bedroom suites, “Artists first preference is Ritz Carlton and 2nd preference is Four Seasons,” promoters are informed.

Meanwhile, at the performance venue itself, James (real name: Kevin Knipfing) demands “ONE PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DRESSING ROOM” decorated with two small vanilla-scented candles, and stocked with bottles of red and white wine, a dozen Michelob Ultra Light beers, and a pack of mint sugar-free gum.

James also wants two premium tickets delivered to his dressing room before each gig. These seats--“for Mrs. James”--are to be “on the aisle in the 10th row, or any row as close as possible to the 10th row.” (1 page)

Comments (1)

A comedian gambles his future working towards a dream that starts out bombing in dives for drunks without pay and usually ends nowhere. Successful ones postpone a normal life with a regular paycheck, family life, and healthcare until later in life. Constant travel is grating. Kevin James travels with two young children in addition to his wife, and at this stage in his career is asking nothing excessive to ensure his familiy's comfort. This is a Smoking Gun worthy story? Please keep it funny, interesting, or both.

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