This might be a little long winded because of the unusual circumstances of this gig, which requires a bit of explanation before I get to the point. I play in a trio that supports a comedy troupe. We open the show, play in-between the sketches, and also close the show with a "finale" number. Our job is to keep the audience "up" between skits. This show has been running off and on for about twelve years. I got involved about four years ago. Recently there has been a move to take this show to a regional level, and perhaps even a national level (think Saturday Night Live). Recently, the show director has expressed his belief in the need to change the format so that our trio opens and closes the show, but does not play in between sketches. We would have a kind of "half time" show at the mid-point (show runs for an hour, so this would be 30 minutes into it). Apparently the director has been advised by some people "in the business" that the show will never advance beyond it's current stature unless this change is made. We tried this new format this past Friday and it was decidedly inferior to the way we've been doing it for years. There was a noticeable lag time between the sketches and the overall effect was to put a "drag" on the show. The assistant director (AD) was in charge, since the primary director was out of town on business. The AD then instructed us that for the Saturday night show we'd return to our usual format and things went well, as usual. Now to my question. Has anyone had any experience with this kind of show? I would like to do some research on how things are done with shows like SNL, Letterman, etc ... but I really have no idea where to start. I thought about emailing someone like Will Lee, who has played in support bands like ours for years. I really would appreciate some input from anyone who has it to offer. It seems obvious to me that we should stick with what works, but I need some kind of credible case to present to our director to convince him of it.