The Age of Prestige Comedy

The Age of Prestige Comedy

Don't fear the exclusive

Comedians tend to have a please-everybody mentality which has them casting a wide net that catches zero fish. 

What's the point of throwing spaghetti against the wall if you're trying to make bice tagliolini pasta with lobster & truffles? 

This is a pain point every comedian experiences because they're in constant experimentation mode to develop their own voice. 

There's nothing more exclusive than your own voice. 

Exclusivity has become popular with apps like Clubhouse, Patreon and Substack. It's expansion and deduction. Platforms broaden. Creators specify.

Creators can't specify unless there's a broad platform that provides the space to create. 

How do we apply this to standup?  

1) Think with intentionality. Who do you specifically want to be? What is your personal version of bice tagliolini pasta with lobster & truffles? 

2) Find your lane. You need to pick a space to share your work with your audience. Why are you on all the platforms? If you're trying to grow a Twitter audience because you're a great joke writer; then why are you spending valuable on time making TikToks, recording a podcast and uploading sketches to Youtube?  Or if you're at an open mic every night of the week. Why on Earth aren't you recording it and uploading jokes, candid moments and fun reactions to your TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts? It's better to specify and execute than generalize and fractionate. 

3) Once in your lane, drive the opposite direction. You still need to stand out no matter what you're doing. Popular platforms are saturated. So be different. Best way to be different? Specificity! Sensing a theme? A good comedian to pay attention to is Che Durena. He's always been a funny comedian. But it was until locking down on a platform (TikTok) and getting specific will his style (fast-paced stitches & duets) that he created a niche for himself and grew an audience. 

4) Get granular. Once you have your audience you will need to create ways to build your community. This is a great moment to create exclusive products: limited-release, Patreon-only content, a scalable newsletter, etc. The exclusivity attracts because the one thing all audiences have in common is a desire to break through the noise and find creator communities they connect with. A more classic version of this kind of exclusivity in comedy history would have been in alt weeklies, secret shows, mixtapes and public access television. 

My hypothesis here? We're entering the age of prestige comedy. 

A-listers doing exclusive events in rare places

▶ B-listers partnering with brands and creating unique experiences 

▶ C-listers zeroing in on their cult-communities providing specific perks  

▶ Z-listers like me growing job creation for comedians through independent companies 

My predictions: 

▶ The words "comedy professional" will become commonplace 

▶ Classic education will be replaced by modern edutainment and gamification 

▶ Entertainers will be elected into political positions of power more frequently 

▶ Open mics will become content breeding grounds 

That's it for today's "newsletter".

Still figuring out the newsletter part of this but if I'm going to successfully build The Other Comedy Company then I need to be sharing my ideas. My blunt hope is that others will start sharing their ideas back and we can get into the habit of creating feedback loops. 

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