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Nov
30
2014

Comedy Niches: Part One
Posted on November 30, 2014 under Comedy Niches

When I first became part of the local comedy scenup until that time that there we so many different categories and labels for the different types of comedy and venues in these states as well as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Delaware. I have since seen comedians advertise themselves as a Jewish comedian, corporate comedian, fundraiser comedian, Christian comedian and so on. If you were to do a search, you would find that the process to hire a comedian can get very complicated because so many comedians feel they can get a potential client to book or hire them if they say they specialize in a certain niche audience.

The same is true with the geography of where a comedian lives and will work. Some comedians list themselves as being a comedian to book or hire for, let’s say, New Jersey only. Or, another will list New York or Pennsylvania as the locale where he or she would like to be booked and hired. In actuality, in my experience a professional comedian will travel far distances for a gig. It reminds me of the old US Post Office credo….”Whether rain, or snow or sleet or hail.” Such is the life of a comedian.

I find the irony of this is that there really are no definitive and absolute niches in comedy. Funny is funny. As people we have more in common with one another than we have differences. And so, collectively an audience made up of people of different backgrounds, as Americans living in a high technology world, we are smaller and assimilated then in decades past. So, while in the past comedians were booked or hired based on their nationality, geography or religion, it is not as much of an issue today.

When a top comic like a Jerry Seinfeld or a Jay Leno use observational humor to comment on the human condition, they are not speaking as a member of the Jewish people or the Italian heritage, they are talking about things that all families can relate to—family, society,work, politics, etc. Topics we all experience.

In Part II of this series, I will talk about the how niches in comedy came to be on a national level going back to the early 1900’s and how it has evolved.
Stay tuned! We’ll be back soon….

 
 

 

 
   
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