Comedy Influencers Every Comic Should Know
Jeff Singer from Interrobang recently sat with five comedy influencers every comic wants to know. These are five men and women who influence comedy, actually, influence is an understatement. They make the decisions that make the comedy world go round’. These people serve as Gatekeepers of the next level, the owners, managers and bookers of America’s biggest and best comedy stages.
Five Comedy Influencers Comics Should Know
These people are powerful, like Harvey Weinstein before 2017 power. Not quite Television and movie power, but you’ll never get there without these five people. They can make a comic rich and famous, fast. These comedy influencers control the stages that tv and movie execs use to find new talent. Mark Breslin, the CEO/Founder of Yuk Yuk’s Inc, Marc Grossman who owns Helium Comedy Clubs, Wende Curtis, CEO of Comedy Works in Denver, and Erin Von Schonfeldt EVP of Talent for Levity Live gathered at the Just for Laughs Comedy Pro festival.
Now we hate to be the bearer of bad news and spiller of secrets, but as an urban forum we must point out the noticeable lack of diversity in this group, yes, women are at the table, but how different are they from the men? In different, we mean how much can they really relate to African Americans? Does this group understand what’s funny to ticket buying African-Americans? Do they identify coming trends or simply dictate ‘funny’ to us mere mortals?
Do They Care?
The simple answer is no. They don’t really understand, and it to be honest, it shouldn’t matter. They don’t identify trends they identify talent. They’re De Facto dictators of ‘funny’ but not by choice, those who control the stages that make the kings are simply looking for comics who fill seats and entertain the crowds. While diversity is important, these taste makers do not scour the internet for hip phrases and idiosyncrasies of urban culture. They don’t look for the guy or gal who talks about any subject pertaining to the African American community, they look for comics who can sell tickets, period.
To be fair and give respect where its due, there’s a certain guy in Columbus who’s an equally important gate keeper for African-American comics. Get to this dude first, then the five comedy influencers mentioned above will find you.
Jeff Singer, talent booker for the JFL festival sat with the taste makers after the “JFL Comedy Pro” panel discussion. The information they shared is MUST READ material for all comics.
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