Like everything else in our hyper-connected multi-platform macro-digital age, comedy has become increasingly fragmented. Whereas once comedians could be easily placed into three very broad categories – “Men”, “Women”, or “Black People” – and marketed accordingly, now there are a seemingly infinite number of niche subcultures within the comedy community, each with its own unique demographics and strat.
So before you worry about writing down a single joke or trying to have an original thought, it is crucial for you to first decide on a unique comedy “brand” so you can easily market/promote yourself. Here are eight established ideas for you to choose from:
1. The Bro’s Bro
Stuff You Should Joke About – Bro’ing out, Getting Laid, Sexting, How Hammered You Got Last Night, “No Homo Bro” Situations
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Dane Cook, Greg Giraldo, Joe Rogan
What You Should Wear – Expensive jeans, fancy bedazzled t-shirts, hairstyle that has been painstakingly made to look “messy”
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – Short-lived rom-com movie-stardom.
2. The Cool Alts of Comedy
Stuff You Should Joke About – Weird things that happened with this girl you met from Tumblr, how lame hipsters are, Neutral Milk Hotel references, bewilderment with racism/homophobia/Tea Partiers.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Aziz Ansari, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Schaal
What You Should Wear – Plaid/flannel shirts, beards, cool glasses, jeans, Chucks/Vans.
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – A recurring spot on The Daily Show, which leads to a supporting role in the Arrested Development movie that is totally going to happen, which ends up landing you a starring role in the next Judd Apatow movie.
3. Scathing Celebrity Observationist
Stuff You Should Joke About – Lindsay Lohan’s hilarious drug problems, Tom Cruise’s gay Scientology, how much you ironically love Justin Bieber, which Real Housewife is the best, why Katy Perry is so shitty.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale, Perez Hilton.
What You Should Wear – Less expensive knock-offs of the kind of stuff celebrities would wear (most of this can usually be found at H&M).
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – Get your own talk show and turn it into a total gabfest.
4. The “Bill Hicks Will Never Die” Guy
Stuff You Should Joke About – How fucked up stuff is, the giant Satan cock of Halliburton that’s up all our asses, psychedelic revelations about the universe, the real reason weed isn’t legal, why Katy Perry is so shitty.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope. That’s it. Everyone else is a hacky corporate garbage whore.
What You Should Wear – Whatever you woke up in. Brands are for sheep.
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – Live fast, die young, become a legend for how badly you stuck it to The Man.
5. Absurd Genius That Only Cool & Smart People “Get”
Stuff You Should Joke About – Sandwiches made of caterpillars, Big Carl the Gay Cyborg Sasquatch, scary old VHS footage presented without context, seeing how long the audience will laugh while you curl up and nap onstage.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Andy Kaufman, Tim & Eric, the Wonder Showzen dudes.
What You Should Wear – Odd and purposefully unfashionable hairstyles, ill-fitting Salvation Army clothes from the early ‘90s, random accessories that just do not make any sense.
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – A show on Adult Swim.
6. President of the Comedy Clubs
Stuff You Should Joke About – Stuff drunk people who don’t watch much comedy expect comedians to joke about (especially jokes about whatever town you’re in).
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Jeffery Ross, Jim Norton, Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli
What You Should Wear – Stripey button-down shirts (untucked), fancy shopping mall jeans (bootcut), and black dress shoes (shiny).
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – Getting invited to participate in the Comedy Central Roast of John Stamos.
7. The Last Stereotype Standing
Stuff You Should Joke About – Whatever obvious identifying racial/sexual/physical characteristics you happen to possess, and the myriad ways in which they differ from those of “regular people”. Other funny reminders of how different we all are.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Ralphie May, Dat Phan, Ant, Tess, Josh Blue, or pretty much anyone else who has ever been successful on “Last Comic Standing”.
What You Should Wear – Whatever kind of clothing your particular stereotype might suggest OR the exact opposite of that.
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – A pandering sitcom on NBC that gets canceled after three episodes.
8. The Nerdy Internetainer
Stuff You Should Joke About – Parodies & Spoofs of other stuff on the Internet, premise-based Tumblr blogs, assholish mocking of everything and everyone.
Comedians You Should Try To Be Like – Tosh.0, the CollegeHumor kids, That Guy Whose Dad Says All The Crazy Shit.
What You Should Wear – Underwear and stained T-shirts are fine (it doesn’t matter what you wear, because no one can see you anyway).
Ultimate Goal You Should Have – Going viral, being featured on the front page of “Funny or Die”, getting a “Stuff White People Like”-like book deal, writing a column on Splitsider.