The internet, Netflix and Stand-Up Comedy
I have been a huge fan of Netflix and their obsession with Stand-Up Comedy; from a professional and personal point of view. I’ve been a fan of comedy since I was a kid, and I have always loved making people laugh. Seeing the commitment that Netflix has made with Stand-Up Comedy, it give me hope that it will continue to thrive. Stand-Up has been going through a resurgence, I would say, since the early 2000’s. Regardless how you feel about him , I believe Dane Cook (How do you feel about him? Be honest!) has a lot to due with that resurgence. He became a household name in the early 2000s. He appealed to a younger audience than most comedians; an audience that weren’t known for their love of comedy. Once Dane wetted their appetite for comedy, they began looking for others, and that’s when they would find Mitch Hedburg, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, just to name a few comics whose popularity grew in the 2000s. Another development that has helped many careers is the internet. Having sites like youtube, and earlier on EbaumsWorld.com, people were able to find stand-up comedy 24 hours a day. Russell Peters has been very open about youtube being a huge reason for his success (And yes, you too Anjelah Johnson! I see you and your nail salon bit with its 500 trillion views. TELL ME YOU'VE SEEN THAT CLIP!?). Russell is one of the biggest names in comedy; having sold out arenas all over the world. Haven’t heard of him? That’s okay, he isn’t hurting for fans. For example, in May of 2010, he performed in Sydney, Australia in front of 13,880; which made his performance the largest attended comedy show ever in Australia. But if it wasn’t for a random person on the internet posting an old 45 minute set he did on Canadian television onto Youtube (still in its infancy then), his career would have had a different trajectory. I’ve heard Russell talk about this, and he still to this day, doesn’t know who posted that clip, but he is super grateful they did.
And now Netflix is working on changing the trajectory of other comedians with their new 15 minute format that’s being introduced later this year. Netflix is giving newer comedians a chance to shine by giving shorter sets out. As a fan of comedy, are you excited about shorter sets? Does this make it easier to consume comedy? Or do you prefer the storytelling in a longer format? Most comics take 10 years or more to develop a 30 minute or one-hour special, but 15 minutes can be done a lot sooner. It’s exciting to see younger voices given a chance to be on the same platform as Chappelle or Rock. I’m rooting for their success! And also waiting for my chance to get that 15 minute spot.