Most performers know what they give to an audience, especially stand-up comedy. We give out the funny. I like to think of it as a passionate, well thought out, well performed recounting of our jokes and twisted personalities....that's a big part of what we give.
No question the work that goes into being able to do this feat live on stage not after night is considerable.
Ever consider the gains however?
Yes the audience gives us plenty as well. If we have done our work and paid our dues the audience signals to us immediately with laughter and applause, which means we have gained their approval.