Television and Sketch Comedy

Posted on 28 April 2015

I remember the first time I went to San Diego Comic Con. Everyone was talking about how the previous year the two major comic book companies, DC and Marvel, were predicting the death of the comic book. They had all but pulled out of that year’s convention. Instead we had a great flowering of independent comic books companies. Their message was that life was never better for their industry.

Fortunes have changed yet again for people in comics. However, I would like to point out that big companies have a tendency to see themselves as the whole of the world. How they are doing is clearly “the universal state of affairs”. When people take advantage of their hubris, the world has a chance to move forward in marvellous and innovative ways. Television and publishing are both facing this issue and are doing a fabulous job of shooting their own feet.

Opportunities are still to be had online. Trade paradigms need to shift and people need to learn how to cooperate more in order to see a further flowering of online creativity. Sketch comedy is an example of where online is trumping television in a big way. Television execs could be harvesting loads of online talent. Instead they disparage sketch comedy and refuse to compete. Either they dominate or nothing seems to be their policy. This is also your entry point, provided you are willing to work with other sketch comedians and video makers.

TV executives are increasingly under pressure to keep viewers on screen rather than online as they defend the bastion of terrestrial broadcast, from the scourge of digital innovation. And to do that they need big names and convoluted contracts and licensing to ‘give you something that nobody else will’. Being funny doesn’t just cut it anymore; you’ve got to have commercial value.
~Adam Dahrouge, “Where has all the TV sketch comedy gone?

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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