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Making Digital Comedy Amongst A Whole Load Of Cat Videos


Short, shareable and preferably cute kitty cats... that's what resonates with the social media generation. And who doesn't want that cute, furry escapism from the grind of long commutes or laborious family life? Relatable snapshots from other peoples lives that offers a welcomed distraction. When preparing a meal for friends or family, why watch an original drama about a missing child when you can watch quadruplets giggling at a doting father? They are so cute! Before videos went viral, the meaning of the word related to a virus or viruses and perhaps these videos seen by millions are a contagion in themselves. Yes that's what we're claiming, the ever shrinking human attention span is because you clicked on 'Charlie bit my finger.' We're certainly not the first to coin this term, but we're labelling this ailment 'The TRUMP effect.'

We write, perform and produce original digital comedy in a world where currently, the mockable cannot be mocked and the ridiculous doesn't seem so ridiculous anymore, and that newsworthy issue we so desperately want to spoof merely empowers the problem we're trying to poke fun at. Our work has seen us parody recognisable pop culture from creating sketches on Luther (Luther Jr.), Batman v Superman (Blackman V Soupman) and Rihanna's 'Work' (Understanding RiRi's Work). We recently launched our first music video created in true 90's boyband style named 'Man Crush.' The video was nostalgic, pulled at heart strings and resonated with the modern sensitive man gang; garnering us nearly 50k views in just a few days!. We won't lie, the parodies have gained us a loyal and growing online following which have successfully opened doors for us.

But how do comedians crack the 'viral' code? Here's the comedic conundrum about creating digital comedy content - the reality is that making people laugh is no longer the most difficult part of posting comedy videos, many videos go viral simply by breaking the algorithms, increasing likes, shares, views and comments. The content, style and production value can get away with being simple, meaning that perhaps the lack of newsworthiness has hindered exposure or maybe, viral videos aren't meant for working comedians but for the average joe to gain their own understanding of situations where only humour can triumph tragedy.

Although much brilliant online topical content infiltrates social media and goes viral to millions of people, it rarely informs the debate because it only reaches the pages of similar thinking people. Everyday people across the world subscribe to videos like 'Sneezing Panda' because it's provides effortless joy not tied to weighty, divisive, opinionated discussions on Facebook with that old friend from school or some online troll hiding behind an @TrumpsWhiteAmerica666 avatar on Twitter. We're not saying every viral video gives you that warm fuzzy feeling of happiness, 'fat people falling over' can make one person 'LOL' or force another person to vehemently take to the comment section to defend their chubby friend who once fell over and finds this slapstick video offensive. Point being, delivering to the digital consumer has changed comedy. We made the choice early on to step away from traditional comedy festivals and stand-up shows to focus on producing digital content and grow online because if we don't react to audience behaviours, we're just another struggling roadshow comedy duo. We hope this risk pays off because Noah has terrible resting bitch face that doesn't always bode well in real life situations.

Honestly, in the shadows of Brexit and a Trump Presidency, nothing in the world seems certain let alone scripted comedy, but we think the recipe for digital comedy could be short, shareable, newsworthy (but more outrageous than the actual news itself), which gives us the opportunity to be seen in a sea of dwindling attention spans and amongst time-limited folk. If our strategy fails, we can always start making funny videos of cats with cute babies!

Twitter: @NandJComedy

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