In comedy, applause is the most important instrument of customer feedback.
But British audiences frequently misuse it, applauding acts frenetically for nothing more than walking on. This makes the ensuing performance pointless. Excitement can only get lost.
Worse than applause before the start of a set is loud clapping during a routine, which wastes valuable joke time in the strict confinement of a 20-minute set.
I much prefer the superior system of my native Germany, where laughter and applause are only ever used to shorten an inept performance, while excellence is rewarded with admiring silence.