The Story Behind thestandupcomedians.com
The idea for the comedy site came after watching Louis CK’s Live at the Beacon Theatre stand-up show. His DIY-style digital download site was a game changer. Fans could buy his comedy for $5 and do whatever they wanted with it. He wasn’t the first to do it, but he was the first comedian. And the idea that artists, even comedians, could deal directly with fans was very cool. Once Louis CK did it, other big name comedians quickly followed: Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan both came out with their own downloadable website specials shortly after. I wondered if the same model could work for lesser-known comics.
Before settling into parenthood, I’d been a stand-up comedian in Canada for over ten years and I’d gotten to know a lot of really great comics. I think Canada produces some of the best stand-up comedians in the world and I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of them. And, as I started talking to local comedians about doing something similar to what Louis did, everyone loved the idea. Unfortunately, none of them had both the financial resources and technical expertise to pull it off. I want to be clear. No one is comparing their act to Louis CK and no one expects to get his kind of volume of traffic. But the idea of a DRM-free, internet distribution model that would bring them closer to fans and potentially give them a little extra money was very appealing. As you can probably guess, making a living as a comedian (or any entertainer for that matter) is a very hard thing to do.
And that’s where I came in. In addition to stand-up comedy, I also have a background in video and multimedia production. I decided to put a strong video and web team together and get this project done. And that’s when things started to take shape. Getting the comics would be the easy part. Almost everyone I approached was onboard with the idea. Thanks to @GrahamClark @Ivan Decker @EricaSigurdson @CharlieDemers @Dylan Rhymer and all the others rolled up their sleeves and dove right in.
Finding a venue, selling the tickets and capturing the shows and getting them up onto a website would be the real challenge. I started working with Graham Clark (Stop Podcasting Yourself, Comedy Now and CBC’s The Debaters) on finding a suitable room to film the shows. After looking all over the city, we settled on the idea of shooting at the Legendary Cabaret Room in The Waldorf Hotel.
In order to make the site financially feasible, we’d have to work on economies of scale. We decided to have two comedians per night over 5 nights. The comics started selling tickets and I started booking the crew and building the website. And somehow, despite all the odds, we managed to pull it off. I want to thank the Vancouver comedy community and everyone who came out to our shows to support us. A special thank-you goes out to Guy McPherson and the Georgia Straight for helping us get the word out at the very start.
Basically, the stand-up comedians website was developed to give an opportunity to all the hardworking comedians out there that don’t have the capital or technical expertise to develop and market to the new DRM free, internet distribution model. That’s the great thing about social media – it gives artists the chance to relate directly with their fans. Vancouver Is Awesome (@VIAwesome) and Maximum Fun have also been great.
A group of ten Stand Up Comedians have banded together to spread out the capital costs and create a website that is both individual (i.e. each comedian gets their own homepage) and comprehensive (many different comedy styles). Comedy fans, can watch free previews and pick what they like: male, female, silly, raunchy, political, smart, stupid – you name it – we’re going to put it up on the stand-up comedians website. All we care about is the comedy.
As the site grows in popularity we’ll be adding more and more comedians from as many different regions of Canada and the US as possible. But we also hope to feature comedians from around the world.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear what you think.
Paul Breau @pbreau and the stand-up comedians
Here are some comedy links to get you started, the first is Graham Clark:
Next, we’ve got Ivan Decker:
Next, it’s Charlie Demers:
Up next, it’s Erica Sigurdson:
And, last, but by no means least, Dylan Rhymer: