Like many comedians operating in the 21st Century, I am constantly trying to figure out the “next big thing” to advance my career. Dane Cook helped his career by dominating MySpace quicker and more completely than any of his peers; Rob Delaney became a well known comedy name through Twitter; and Louis CK used his clout to completely buck the establishment and make additional millions through direct distribution. But, as many of my peers know, by the time you have learned about the successful strategies, everyone knows them and the advantage is gone. So as a service to today’s comedians looking for new insights into where comedy is going I am offering a comprehensive set of predictions for stand up comedy’s future so that they might prepare their careers best.
1. Memes of Bodily Sounds Will Revolutionize Internet Comedy. This may not make sense right now, but as technology grows and attention spans shrink there will be less demand for memes relying on a burdensome 10-12 words and more demand for memes featuring instantaneously humorous bodily sounds. “George Takei Fart” will be a trendsetter.
2. The Transgendered Fundamentalist Muslim Asian Comedy Tour Will Sell Out Arenas. In the long tradition of niche tours seeking out audiences comprised of their own group, or extremely sympathetic liberals, this tour will make a ton of money and will show that they are just like everyone else. Especially when they do their impressions of GPS devices with “black” voices.
3. Key and Peele Will Be Honored. After 12 successful seasons on Comedy Central, these two trailblazers of comedy will be honored at the Kennedy Center. In a tearful speech they will thank those that blazed their trail of sketch comedy glory – Carlos Mencia, Jeff Dunham and Clarence Thomas.
4. A New Alternative Comedy Will Arise. In two decades or so a guy who will have played high school sports, yet never have read a comic book will decide to craft his act around humorous, engaging stories, as well as several shorter sources of humor based upon the duality of set up lines and subsequent punchlines. He will rock the foundation of comedy.
5. “1800 Seconds of Quirky Speech” Will Be A Failure. In a constant effort to re-brand half hour specials, this will be the only title left to describe the new crop of half hour comedy specials.
6. Emcees and Features Will Be Known As Unpaid Guest Spots. Clubs will all use Ticketmaster-like services to make more money off of comedy fans, but to cut costs either they will offer professional comics unpaid guest spots or they will allow homeless locals to defecate on stage before the headliner.
7. Louis CK Will Reach A Historic Milestone – CK will have just completed his 44,000th new hour of comedy (having accelerated to producing a new hour-every-45-minute pace) when a civilian will be beaten to death by a group of comedians when one overhears the civilian say that “it just doesn’t feel as sharp as other specials I have seen.”
8. A Zygote Will Be Named Either A “Comic To Watch” Or A “Best Of Fest” Somewhere. In an ongoing effort to find younger and fresher faces unburdened by life experience or material, a fertilized human egg will provide a heretofore unknown level of fresh perspective. Its first album, “Jizz”, will be named a Top 10 album by most publications.
9. Comedians Will Have To Do Chores For Fans. The “what do you give your fans for their support” (besides talent and hard work, which by 2012 are no longer enough for many comedians to gain traction) will reach unprecedented new levels as comedians will begin doing chores just to pick up twitter followers and fan support. This will be after the trend of free downloads of albums and comping tickets is no longer good enough for the emboldened fans of stand up.
10. Everyone Will Consider Themselves A Comedian. Up from today’s reasonable 70% rate, by 2032 everyone in America will declare themselves a comedian and open mics will resemble bread lines from the Great Depression.
So don’t just sit there! Get going before everyone is in on these things!