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Forgotten YouTube Comedian Joe Dyson's Life Changed By Reddit, 500 Videos And 40 Years Later

19/08/2014 10:00 BST | Updated 19/08/2014 10:59 BST
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A 'vintage' stand-up comedian who had just 22 viewers after posting more than 500 videos just had his life changed forever - by Reddit.

Joe Dyson, a comedian who tried to make it big in San Francisco in the 1970s and has also written several books, isn't what you'd call an obvious YouTube hit.

Regardless, back in 2013, seemingly out of nowhere, he started uploading short videos of his routines. The audiences weren't large, but he kept going, posting more than 500 videos like clockwork over about 18 months.

Unfortunately, as of a week ago (and by video Number 504) he had just 22 subscribers -- and most of his videos had about 7 views. Maybe it even seemed like time to give up?

Then Reddit found his page. What happened next is genuinely inspring.

Just one submission on the site has changed Joe Dyson's world.

"This man has uploaded 505 videos of himself delivering his own jokes. He only has 22 subscribers," wrote JamesDuggan96 on the site.

"He deserves many more."

Reddit obliged.

Just five hours after posting the link Joe Dyson's YouTube channel has been catapulted to the top link on all of Reddit. He now has 10,000 15,000 subscribers, and it's going up at a rate of about 1,000 every 15 minutes as America starts to wake up and check Reddit on Tuesday morning. His views are rapidly increasing too, with several of his videos on the magical '301 views' as YouTube struggles to keep up.

And ok, maybe Joe isn't quite Stewart Lee or Michael McIntyre. Maybe his delivery is a bit old-fashioned, and his gags a bit groan-inducing. But for sheer dedication, volume of ideas and adherence to a dream, you can't fault him.

So far it looks like a simple, heartwarming tale of a long-shot comedian finally making it big.

Unfortunately, being the internet, not all of it is positive. Several aggressive trolls appear to be posting mean and unkind messages about Joe on his channel - hopefully he will wake up in California and see that the positive words far outweigh the bad. We've been in touch with him, and we await his response...

UPDATE: This extract from Joe's book "Never Entertain During Watermelon Season" seems poignant given what's just happened for him. It's right of the end of the book, where Joe (after 200 performances) decides to focus on his life outside comedy.

joe dyson

Indeed, sir. Indeed.

Meanwhile, here are some of his best videos - we're particularly fond of the ones filmed on top of a mountain, for no apparent reason.