YouTube a boon for stand-up comedians, comedy clubs

IANS| Last Updated: Aug 04, 2014, 19:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Lilly Singh, an Indian origin Canadian comedian, would never have been known as `Superwoman` had she not taken to YouTube to showcase her talent. Her comic sense helped her earn over 200 million views and 3 million subscribers on her channel and turned her into a star.

She is not the only one. There are more such comedians who earned popularity through YouTube.

With the increasing outreach of social networking sites, a lot of comedians are taking to the video sharing site to showcase their talent. If it gives a platform to the artists, it also allows surfers to entertain themselves with stand up acts according to their convenience.

Thanks to that, these artists enjoy huge followers on YoutTube, which is also popularising comedy clubs.

For instance, the East India Comedy`s channel has 31,202 subscribers and their video titled "Sex Education in India" got over 1,505,000 views.

The wide viewership of the website has helped in promoting shows of comedy clubs like "The Comedy Store", "All India Bakchods" (AIB) and "East India Comedy". The kind of brand value these comedy clubs have achieved is mostly through creating their own channels on the site and regularly posting sketches, which end up going viral.

"Because of the social media you are able to sell in your tickets very well. This is a medium where you get to showcase a part of your talent," says comedian Amit Tandon. "It could be used to put up one of your shows online, you could use it to attract audiences," he further added.

AIB, known for making "politically incorrect" and "edgy" videos, gets a lot of hits on YouTube.

"They have a major outreach. They aren`t actually putting the stand-up material on YouTube," said actor-comedian Kavi Shatri talking about how such comedy clubs have struck a fine balance between putting the right stuff on YouTube to lure followers to their shows.

If the advent of social websites has raised the competition in the stand-up comedy scenario, the continuous innovations have taken the quality of the jokes to another level.

Gaurav Chauhan, a Delhi-based comedian told reporters that since YouTube and social media have actually raised the bar of stand-up comedy, "everyone tries to come up with new jokes and be innovative."

"Earlier it was only stand-up and that was limited to English language. Now, we have a lot of Hindi comics (comic artists) around and we have improve comedy, sketches and musical comedy happening. So it`s getting competitive everyday," explained Tandon.

It`s believed that a comedian`s survival hinges on innovation.

"If you manage to utilise it (video sharing websites) correctly without giving away your material and if people still come and watch your show, then you`re doing the right thing," says Shastri.

These videos have become a preferable entertainment option amongst youth.