What’s The Deal With Internet Comedy? | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

What’s The Deal With Internet Comedy? | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

I think comedy on the internet has taken
off because most people are at work and it’s just a nice little escape. It’s so accessible. It’s right there. Why not laugh a little bit? It used to be there was this one way. You slog it through
the clubs, then you get on late night, and then hopefully you get a sitcom. That’s completely out the window now. There’s a different, twisted kind of thing that you find funny alone in the dark that you might find funny sitting in an audience. What podcasts have definitely done for comedy is it’s created a new type of fan of comedy. You’re taking something that used to be inaccesible and you’re
making it accessible. There’s just a more personal connection. Nerd of Mouth is a podcast where
lonely people get to be together by listening to us alone and reveling in
their nerd-dom. “Is being a nerd something you choose our does it choose you? This episode is just gonna be all of us striking
out at tee ball.” The inspiration was somewhat of a disdain towards most
portrayals of nerd culture. The Big Bang Theory is my Tyler Perry. It’s just non-nerdy people nerd-facing it up, “I know particle
physics and I’m lonely,” and it’s just insulting. And that’s kinda how it
came about. What I love about podcasts is that it’s allowed people to be niche-ier. It used to be
that you had to answer to the world as an artist. Now I get to be as alienating as I want. There’s no censorship. You can be as weird as you want. “No! My kingdom of fudge!” I just did morning radio for the first time and they said to me, “You can talk about this, this, and this, but you
can talk about that, that, and that.” You just want to be able to talk about what you
want ’cause there’s a difference between someone just seeing you do a five minute set
versus hearing you for two hours and getting to
know you as a person. “Let’s try to describe what our childhoods were like.” “Oh, in that case I’ll just cry.” I feel like all of my fans are just me with less
confidence and they see something in me that they
see in themselves and that’s a great thing. We’re bridging this gap now of all these
fans who kind of like comedy. Now they realize, “Oh, there’s comics for me,
in venues for me,” and you can really get to see somebody
as a person. Twitter has really strengthened
comedy in the comedy world. It’s a good training tool in writing jokes. My style
of humor and jokes are short, little, weird thoughts and it fits perfectly
into the twitter environment. Twitter has actually helped my joke
writing process ’cause you’re forced to fit in what you want to say into
those one hundred forty characters. You get rid of the waste and you just get to
the funny. On New Year’s Eve I tweeted, “It was one year
ago today that I also didn’t want to go out.” I tweeted, “I still can’t believe ‘the
Machine’ left ‘Rage Against’ to join ‘Florence and.'” I try to experiment within the medium itself. It’s only a hundred forty characters but
there are a lot of different style of tweets that you can do. I like to do quotes a lot and then
attribute it to a person. I quoted, “Foursquare and seven apps ago…” and that was Abraham Linkedin. There’s a quote that’s just “Ohhhhh.” and that was the first person to peel open a banana. Sometimes you’ll come up with an idea
instantly based on a news story that’s breaking. I remember when
caught Bin Laden, I tweeted out, “Oh great, now I’m terrified of zombie Bin Laden.” And then that was retweeted hundreds of times. Those
tend to get retweeted the most because it’s happening right then and there and
people want to hear and read about it right then and there. When you’re doing a show live, laughter or silence is an immediate
response. On twitter, it’s the same thing. If you tweet something out, people comment on it or
retweet. You’re getting that immediate satisfaction to know if what you did is connecting with people or not. The internet is amazing because it’s
experimental media for comedy. We’re not beholden to censorship. We can tackle
very controversial subjects online. Comedy is important to us because it’s cathartic. Jokes that seem a little inappropriate to four hundred
people might appeal to you when you’re alone and there’s no one to judge you for
your reaction. We did a sketch called “Stormtroopers’ 9/11.” It’s three
stormtroopers sitting around talking about the Death Star getting blown up in the tone that people who
talk about 9/11 talk about 9/11. “When you look at that part of the galaxy where the Death Star used to be and it’s just… nothing.” “The Jedis win.” “Jedis? I’ll tell you something. They hate our way of life.” It sounds so controversial, but to watch the
video it actually makes a lot of sense and is
relatively tame and very funny. But I don’t think we ever would’ve dared to do that live. Big, over the top content is what works,
is what gets the views. I’m really proud of a video that we did called “Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends.” “Keep marriage between a man and a woman and in response, we will marry your girlfriends.” I wanted College Humor to come out as pro-gay marriage which makes no sense because we’re
a comedy website. Who cares? So we came up with this idea which was,
of course you should let gay men marry each other because otherwise they’ll marry
your girlfriends, who they’re so much better suited to than you. “So don’t make us marry your girlfriends.
Support gay marriage.” The fact that we were able to see something, even a little
bit preachy, and get that message across in such
an effective way, as a comedy site, felt really rewarding. When something bad
happens in the world, you need to laugh. When nothing bad
happens in the world and you’re bored, you need to laugh. It’s good exercise. And the internet is
very available catharsis. It’s point and click catharsis. “You’re all a bunch of drones!” “Hey, keep your voice down.” “You’re drones. Especially the drones.” Embracing the internet and embracing these modern changes is the best way to go about it because, I mean, the reality is, you evolve or you die. I think to be successful as a comedian on twitter is just to trust your instincts, take risks, and go with what you think is funny. There’s something about doing it for
that person sitting alone in the dark, whose mouth is agape at first and then slowly warms up to us. That’s just hugely important to not take our important lives all too seriously.

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  1. I am sick and tired of "nerds" insulting The Big Bang Theory … If you don't like it don't watch it and SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT.

  2. I consider myself a nerd, as do my friends and family… and I enjoy the Big Bang Theory. I don't find it insulting, I think it is teaching us all how to laugh at ourselves. Besides…. it's a sitcom. What can you expect?
    I second your idea; Don't like, don't watch.

  3. Twitter is definitely a funny place. As for podcasts, I can't say the same. The internet enhances the ability for self expression any pretty much any form, comedy is just one side of it. I definitely don't believe that stand up or TV shows will be taken over by it any time soon though.

  4. But now comics are saturating the podcast comedy market so people who have been doing it for even longer who are great are swept under the rug.

  5. Well for starters, they pretty much run the internet. You would piss off a ton of geeks and nerds by saying that buddy, and no matter how many kids you can beat up in real life, you will be demolished on the internet. Word of warning.

  6. yeah but as a topic of discussion? i've all the respect in the world for the ones who run the net…but i guess i feel it just shouldn't be a topic of conversation. like if you were an architect, would you sit and spend your time talking about who you are, or just get on with it and design buildings?

  7. Stereotype on nerds in the big bang are so lame and only funny if you don't understand what being a nerd is at all, it doesn't show passion but obsession.
    You can find good stereotypes in tarantino movies.

  8. So the architects couldn't congregate? If you saw a big group of architects hanging out in a library, talking about their job, would you be offended? And why shouldn't it be a topic of conversation? Humans are built to care about themselves, and those who share things they enjoy, so it only makes sense that geeks would talk about them being geeks, as it is comradery, acceptance, and power that is derived from assigning oneself to a group, and talking among members. You're just another jock, huh?

  9. If being a loser makes me a jock then yeah, I'm a jock. But why does everyone have to have a label?
    But people can talk about whatever they want…I'm just saying the people in this video you hear talking about what it's like being a nerd seem a little too smug and self-satisfied. But hey, they're welcome to it.

  10. Well i can only assume what group you fit into.

    I do not feel the need to defend the people in this video, but when you say "they think they're so fucking special," i will defend. I did not think the people in this video were smug, but that's your opinion. Just word your stuff more carefully next time, it gives the wrong impression on what you mean to say.

    And when you say "looser," do you mean anti-social and quiet, or the kid who likes to blow shit up and flip the teachers off?

  11. im sorry if i offend some snobs here, but big bang theory is funny for regular people, and please remember that it's FUCKING FICTION.

  12. As a "nerd" (god I hate using that word for us) myself I find the show pretty hilarious. Then again I'm capable of laughing at myself and my friends without getting offended when someone points those things out.

    If anything I feel that the show makes fun of Penny and the 'regular' people more than the nerds. Wolowitz not withstanding…

  13. Aside from the "nerd Tyler Perry" line, I don't think there was a single bit of comedy in this that got more than a mildly annoyed stare from me :T

  14. Watching this video just depresses me. The "new opportunities" available to comedians via podcasting appear to be mainly open to… white dudes. Gosh. How fresh. How edgy.


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