How the Internet Has Changed Comedy

The Internet has changed the way we live in thousands of ways, from our work to our social lives to our entertainment. Several industries have been influenced and even changed since the birth of the Internet. Although you may find this surprising, one industry that it has changed in particular is comedy.

Boosted Careers

Louis CK

Image via Flickr by 1323

In short, the Internet is responsible for boosting the careers of today’s comedians. Many of the more savvy comedians have that the younger generations are glued to their computers and social network sites, and so have taken advantage of them to boost their careers. The result, unsurprisingly, has been to propel many otherwise unknown comedians to virtual superstardom.

Long billed as a “comic’s comic,” Louis C.K., for example, has set up his own website so he can control how his live shows are being advertised, and sell tickets to them. Jeff Dunbar has used the Internet to showcase his puppets, and even created a YouTube video featuring his most famous one, Achmed.

Virality and Ever-Changing Memes

The Internet has changed the how different memes of comedy are passed from one person to another. No longer are jokes passed from person to person after hearing them on a TV show or reading them in a book. They’re passed directly over the Internet through social networking, via video channels such as YouTube, and in countless email chains.

The viral nature of the Web means jokes can go viral, and it becomes a never-ending feedback loop; as memes are created, they’re remixed and reused by fans. They’re then picked back up by comedians to riff on, and so on and so forth.

More Accessibility and Entertainment

Thanks to the Internet, you no longer have to wait for your favorite comedian to come to town, or try to catch his show on the air. You can watch them live any time you want.

Between YouTube videos, the Stand-Up feature on Comedy Central’s website, and countless other video sites, fans can watch comedy online 24/7 via a high-speed internet connection. Of course, this means that comics have to work harder to write new material and keep their acts fresh; otherwise they risk having a “greatest hits” show of their jokes early in a tour.

More Choices

The Internet gives you access to thousands of comedians a day, from today’s great comedians, to yesterday’s stars. With a bit of browsing on your search engine, you can find several different videos from one of your favorite comedian’s shows. If you search enough, you can even watch an entire show right from your home office. You just have to have the time and patience to look them up.

Something a Little Different

The Internet has not only provided a haven for your favorite comedians, it’s also created a new wave of comedy. Remember the shows where you sent in your home videos for a contest? Now you can post those videos on your social network sites and share them with your followers.

More funny pictures and videos show up on the Internet every day, giving us something to laugh at when we need a break from our busy schedules. You can even use it as a way to share all the funny stories about your children with friends and family. Grab your smartphone, and start recording!

It may surprise you that comedy is one of the many industries influenced and even changed by the Internet. But considering the amount of entertainment we gain from using social networks, email, games, and videoconferencing on a daily basis, perhaps it shouldn’t. In what other ways do you think the Web has changed comedy?