How Podcasts Are Turning Standup Comedy Into Telepathy


Are you less likely to go see live standup shows since the podcast boom? More likely to buy a standup comedy album? More likely to have dreams about being onstage and getting held-up by a fellow comedian in a ski mask who points a gun at you and shouts, “Comedy! Bang! Bang!”? Yes, implies this article about the new prevalence of comedy podcasts.

Listening to a live show, performed in front of an audience, now feels inevitably deflating — the energy off, the crowd response interruptive, the comic now working a crowd, instead of just working you. That’s the appeal of the podcast: the comedian is broadcasting straight into your head, and you in turn are engaged with him, so that the both of you are practically sharing a thought balloon.