Hello Readers! May you be filled with sunshine and farts!
It has been a few weeks of sabbatical and I wanted to start you back off on a good footing and talk about some interesting changes. In general, I realize that the 2.5 million hits we got last year were huge, but scattered. Surprisingly, the articles that got the most hits are longer form articles. So what I am working on is creating less frequent, but longer posts. However, knowing my ADD, I will probably add a few posts here and there about silly things. So thanks again to all of you for reading and I hope I remain mildly entertaining in the future.
So, in the interest of what is above, lets talk about something of interest; comedy. Being the nerd I am, I listen and watch a lot of comedy, to the point where I am learning the rising stars and shows from my imagined past. In the next few posts, I want to talk about the newest wave of my obsession with comedy and the new revolution in comedy that is happening. From my favorite new podcasts, like my near addiction to How Did this Get Made, which I had to promise Scott to not mention anymore, though I will. There are new humorous game shows, other than the classic Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, TV (IFC) and now Netflix has Bunk!, an Improv game show, Doug Benson has Doug Loves Movies as a podcast, which is a mixture of non-sequitur trivia and absurdity.
On top of this, there is amazing improv and sketch work on FX and IFC with shows like Comedy Bang Bang! and much much more. In general, the biggest issues with digital media is the same throughout; the destruction of the gatekeepers. I know this seems nebulous, but let me explain with the example you are the most familiar with; music. As technology got better, there was a divide. On one hand, music became better quality (in terms of audio) and cheaper to produce to boot. This goes hand and hand with the ability to bootleg/pirate that same material. So as more people attempt to start a career, they will earn less money. In general, this means that more people can survive in the industry as a whole, but there will be less smash successes. We may never have a global moment like the Beatles again, but there will now always be a band you love that no one else knows. The record industry crumbling, you can find your own way. Comedy acts like this now.
In the comedy waves in the past it was the play/radio/movie/television rivalry between comedy and drama. However, until the sudden availability of podcasts and hundreds of TV stations, the investment needed to get a person available to the public was huge and potentially catastrophic. Therefore, comedy was watered down to appeal to the greatest common denominator, trying to guarantee appeal. Clearly, this has created some great successes, from Animal House to Seinfeld, but overall the fun and fringe were pushed away. This caused a self-destruction in the 1990s where the comedy bubble burst as everyone tried to clone others success to the point of collapse. Now, though, with excellent quality audio and video cheap as free, podcasting and videos online (like Funny or Die or Channel 101) that people flock to them. Podcasting is so important now, that Mel Brooks did both WTF and the Nerdist. This is coupled with a new wave of TV shows that introduce us to new stand up comedians, sketch guys, and animation, making comedian available through out.
The media landscape may produce less big hits, but as the market becomes freer, there is such a high quality of creation that those who are selling a good product will thrive.