Friday, February 02, 2007

Hey YouTube...

Thank you for saving comedy. I was worried that hipsters would destroy alt-comedy. Then I caught this:

If you want to be a comedian to become an L.A. writer, yeah, hip is great. Because it’s smart and writers are supposed to be smart. So get as smart as you can and still stay funny and just start going up everywhere in town and wait for people to talk to you after the shows and ask to see your scripts. And then make sure you have scripts.If you just want to do standup and forget all of this analysis I do every month about bouncing around inside the standup cube, then I guess my only advice is to stay the hell out of L.A.. Because once you get here there’s no way to not start taking yourself apart and figuring out what the hell there is in this pile of psyche and humor and body and self that you might be able to sell to people who control the sacred light we call television. (my italics)

Shecky columnist Dan French wrote that when Mitch Hedberg was alive. Throughout the essay, he makes the point that in order to make money in alt-comedy, you need another gig. Like TV writing or a sitcom role.

How does YouTube help us circumvent that?

1) You can try to put up free videos online and have your URL flash at the end so people can buy your merch (DVDs, T-shirts), meaning you can make money the way an indie band does (doing the occasional big club for money, selling merch)
2) The suits can discover your intelligent TV pitch or your excellent comic acting online (meaning if all you want is a TV gig you can stop pretending to like stand-up comedy now).
3)YouTube helps alternative comedians promote themselves. There was a time when I would have to hear about Andy Kindler's alt shows (as opposed to the Letterman appearances I usually watch) but now

Most interesting of all, word of mouth might help bring more fans to, say, Baron Vaughn shows so that he might be able to sell out clubs with loyal fans as opposed to being forced downtown because those who want Viagra jokes won't get him.

Of course he could also make money off of merch. I would buy a T-shirt that says "I taught my cell phone racism." So intelligent comedians (like Dan French might be by now) won't need to suck the CRT dick.

No comments: