Whinging stand-ups are moaning that websites are putting them out of business. It is, however, interesting that those complaining are either ‘up and coming’ (aka ‘no one’s ever heard of them’), or once-popular performers currently filed under ‘where are they now?’
The sense of humor failure has been brought about by the increasing popularity of sites such as Sickipedia, which features jokes sent in by members of the public. Example – “I had rough, aggressive sex with my girlfriend last night. It’s not what I’m into, but she initiated it. Yeah, she started it by not wanting to have sex with me. And saying she wasn’t my girlfriend, and that she was just waiting for a bus.”
In the good old days of vaudeville, comedians only needed half a dozen gags that they could trot out every night for 40 years, safe in the knowledge that no one in the audience had heard them before. Then some bastard invented radio and they had to start finding new material because everyone had heard the old stuff – “Take my mother in law – please.”
Now comics desperate for free publicity [surely ‘concerned for their livelihoods?‘ – Ed] claim that they are getting fewer laughs when they perform because audience members have already heard their jokes on the internet as audiences tweet or post their best one-liners on the web.
Gary Delaney, an up-and-coming (see above) British comedian told comedy website Chortle his tale of woe. He complained to Sickipedia after noticing several of his gags had been posted without attribution.
He believes his jokes were dying because fans had already read them online and seemed to know what he was about to say, even while he was performing recent material.
“A couple of jokes… I can tell from the audience reaction, have very quickly started to get around. I could tell that sometimes the audience knew [the gag] before I did the punchline, when I hadn’t even been doing it that long.”
But, sadly, when he contacted Sickipedia and requested that his jokes be taken down, he was subjected to abuse by users.
“I’ve had shit from Sickipedia users annoyed that I’ve taken their joke down,” Delaney said: “People saying they hate me. But I don’t care anymore,” he added, weeping uncontrollably. “There’s a guy called FunnyJoker on Twitter with over 60,000 followers, and I’ve seen jokes from my club set on his page that I’ve never posted being retweeted everywhere, all without credit to me. It’s sped up the whole process by which jokes are distributed to a massive degree.”
“The jokes from my club set are how I make my living, my best and biggest jokes. It used to be the case that a comic’s set would last decades. But now I’ve got jokes I wrote in May, June and July that aren’t working by October because they’ve been absolutely trashed around the internet.”