In Comedy It Matters Who You Are

I think it matters who you are when it comes to comedy. What I mean by this is that if someone knows you or is familiar with your past work, they will be significantly more open to being positive about your new work.

Say, for example, a well known comedian puts out a video. Say that the comedy content is mediocre. The fans of that comedian are going to love it even though it may only be mediocre comedy. There’s an established connection and reference. That person has a brand that affects your acceptance of this new work.

It works the same way when someone you respect recommends something. You watch that recommendation with a certain bias that it is supposed to be funny. The person you respect gets it and finds it funny so you want to get it too. I find this affects me quite a bit. I follow a lot of comedy in the online world and when someone I respect says something is funny, I generally will accept it as funny more quickly than I would if I had found it on my own.

I’ve noticed this occurrence a few times. A well known actor or comedian will put out a video and the comedy blogs and news sites will post it. If you really watch it, it’s ok but not something that would get link love from a lesser known comedian. I reckon this might be known as having payed your dues.

What really brought this home to me was a thread on AST recently. Charlyne Yi posted a video of what she considered her SNL audition. You may know Charlyne from Knocked Up. I’ll be honest, the joke was lost on me. I thought I got that it was ironic but I thought I was missing something too. I’m not familiar with her style of comedy but lots of others loved loved loved it. As I looked closer at the humor, I realized it’s similar style comedy to something I might do for a joke. So a style of joke that I might do myself was lost on me because I didn’t know the creator. It wasn’t until I took a second and third look at it that I began to get it and find it funny. Most people don’t give comedy that kind of chance.

It goes to show that In Comedy It Matters Who You Are.

2 thoughts on “In Comedy It Matters Who You Are

  1. Yeah, so, completely random comment from a completely not comedian. Or comedienne or whatever.

    Your twitter with the utterly lackluster “woo” for Mississippi brought me here and I have now spent way too much time following the SNL audition thread.

    I both thank you and hate you.

    And fully agree with this post, but that should not take away from the hate I will feel for you when I wake up in the morning at the crack of dawn with two toddler boys who don’t give a damn that I was reading your blog.

  2. My “woo” had loads of luster. It was not lacking in any way. I’m born, raised, and have lived my entire life in Mississippi. I’m proud to be a MSian and will fight to the death to defend our consumption of sweet tea.

    I fully embrace your hate. It will make me powerful.

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