Have comedy podcasts overtaken the standup album as an important step in building a comedy career?
In May, Adam Carolla announced on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that his daily hourlong audio podcast, “The Adam Carolla Show,” had officially broken the Guinness world record for most downloaded podcast: more than 59 million downloads since its debut in March 2009. That’s the record for all podcasts, not just comedy ones.
Meanwhile, Comedy Central superstar Daniel Tosh’s new hourlong standup special, “Happy Thoughts,” is one of the top-selling comedy albums on iTunes but doesn’t even rank among the 5,000 bestsellers of all recordings sold by Amazon. Indeed, “comedy” is just a hard-to-find subsection of “miscellaneous” recordings on Amazon.com. The only standup recording in the top 10 of the online retailer’s list of most popular comedy albums is Doug Stanhope’s “Oslo: Burning the Bridge to Nowhere”; the rest of the top 10 is oddly dominated by “Glee” compilations and classic film soundtracks.
The live album was at one time the definitive work that a standup comic could share with the world to broaden his or her audience, increase earning potential, and possibly gain attention from film and TV industry deciders. That was before cable channels, MySpace, YouTube, and now podcasts changed the way comedy content is created, distributed, and enjoyed.
“An album used to be a statement that could last a comedian several years, and that was the only thing you would hear from them,” said Scott Aukerman, a former writer for “Mr. Show” and the host of “Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast.” “You would be so excited because it had been two or three years since their last special or their last album, and there was no other way to hear what they were doing.” Read the rest of this entry »