How do you funny? I’m sure you’ve already watched 5 YouTubes of cats falling over segways this morning alone. But yes, a laugh is one of those things which brings a little bit of merriment into our lives each and every day, and we have access to laughs for every palette at the click of a button.
This year we have already seen online releases of stand up shows from Louis CK and Aziz Ansari who cut out the middle man and released their stand up shows straight to the public via their websites, making unheard of profits in the process. Go Faster Stripe bought the rights to 90s cult classic Fist of Fun from the BBC and have released it independently online. Go collective internet!
Now Channel 4 brings Comedy Blaps, which has replaced the long running pilot series Comedy Lab which introduced now well known personalities such as Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr and Kayvan Novak into our households.
So is this any more than a stupid thing with a stupid name? Yes! Its great! How upsetting is that that we assume everything is going to be bad when it’s come from someone with the job title “entertainment multiplatform commissioner”. I was sceptical at first but it’s actually great! Like, really great! Have I mentioned that it’s great? Because it is.
In stark contrast to Funny or Die or the Foster’s Funny videos where content is restricted to the window, the Comedy Blaps (such a shame about the name) has got an all encompassing flashy website where we go from video to video through a screen wipe of shifting strips. It sounds like it really shouldn’t work, but it feels so natural to the content. The contrast of slick transitions casing video of bearded men covered in protein powder is a successful one. It’s visually arresting and makes you stay on the site and devote your full attention to it and the show. No adverts or pop up windows to distract you.
Each video is approximately 13 minutes long, meaning that budget and ideas aren’t stretched and the finished shows are produced to a very high level, solving a problem many TV broadcast pilots suffer from. This is currently being cited by Channel 4 as a springboard to potential TV series commissions, but will there be a point where this could potentially replace them? The shows are funny – and that’s all that matters at the end of the day, isn’t it?