I am happy to announce that after years of blogging about stand up comedy from an insider’s perspective I have my first major, confirmed scoop – Comedy Central will announce their roster of 16 new choices for their stand up series, The Half Hour, in the next month, but I have obtained the list of the chosen comedians this weekend! Before giving you the specific choices (congrats to all those who have been selected) here is the demographic breakdown: average age 29 years old, average gender: cis male with hipster sensitivities and average beard length: George Clooney when not filming a movie. So without further adieu, please read up and offer congrats to 2016’s choices (who will now realize that they have at least 400 people who consider them close friends):
3 Women – With 2016 being the 5th consecutive year of “the year of women in comedy” it is refreshing that Comedy Central has bumped up their usual number of half hour specials from 2 to 3. One woman will be a woman of color, one will be an attractive white woman who shares tales of her sexual adventures and one will be a “regular” white girl who hates Tinder and generally hates societal judgment.
4 Bearded White Men – Despite recognizing the importance of reaching the key youthful demographic of sperm, the industry still has a soft spot for the residual effect of Zach Galifianakis blowing up in The Hangover 7 years ago. Beards became all the rage back then and their presence is still with us in the comedy industry’s tastes, as evidenced by 4 bearded white men chosen for this year’s slate (3 awkward, alt personalities and one guy who is a mainstream comedian who just happens to have a beard).
3 Veteran Comedians – These are the spots for skilled comedians with over a decade of experience in stand up (one of who will most likely be recording his or her 2nd Comedy Central Half Hour). These are nice token gestures by the producers to show that occasionally old people over 28 need to be represented in stand up, even if that forces Comedy Central to commit the sin of including comedians born during or before Reagan’s presidency (who?).
1 D-list celebrity – I won’t name names here, but there is a comedic actor with almost 18 months of stand up experience and over 30,000 Twitter followers who is likely to drop hot fire in a Half Hour this summer (despite his agent trying to strong arm for an hour, known in the industry as “The Donald Glover Deal”). There is a rumor, however, that this spot may actually be given to a Vine/Instagram celebrity (TBD).
2 Non Threatening Male Comedians of Color – 1 black guy who is a nerd and/or hipster and for the other male POC spot an Asian, a Latino and a Black guy will choose straws on Feb 26th (so specific name TBD).
7 Comedians with 1 Conan Appearance Each – As the only real showcase for stand up on a consistent basis in the late night sphere this may seem like easy picking, but with only 7 chosen, that still leaves 411 1-time Conan appearance comics without a Half Hour.
There is some overlap if you add up the list, but if you think that is a mistake you are wrong and you have the problem – ARE YOU SUGGESTING A WOMAN OF COLOR COULD NOT ALSO BE A GUEST ON CONAN OR THAT A VETERAN COMEDIAN COULDN’T ALSO HAVE A BEARD????? There is overlap here, but this list is confirmed so offer congrats to the comedians and managers who made some dreams come true in 2016.