Laughs 3.0: Comedy Comes Of Age Online

Even Jerry Seinfeld, stubbornly analog anti-Twitterer, has joined the Internet Age.

Jerry Seinfeld


Did you hear the one about the Internet?

Comedy is dominating Net buzz in big ways this week, with several announcements that will make denizens of the web smile–and laugh.

Pandora announced that it would be adding comedy channels to its popular personalized web-radio service. As it announced on its blog:

Adding comedians to the mix has been one of the top requests from our listeners, so we’ve taken the same approach to comedy as we have to music: carefully and deliberately analyzing comedic “bits” across a very large number of attributes to capture the style, delivery and content of each performance. It’s been a very fun experience, taking what we’ve learned in music and applying it to a whole new category. Now, instead of talking about “minor keys,” “falsetto,” and “extensive vamping,” our comedy-analysts capture “odd juxtaposition” (A horse walks into a bar…), “misdirection” and “spoonerisms” (a well-boiled icicle, instead of a well-oiled bicycle)…

We’ve had a great team of working comedians furiously analyzing what is now a collection of more than 10,000 sketches from more than 700 different comics and counting.

Taking a page from its own “Music Genome Project,” it’s calling the initiative the “Comedy Genome Project.”

The stubbornly analog Jerry Seinfeld is also jumping into the Internet mix this week, launching his own website, It’s really just an archive, though one that will no doubt fill a huge demand; Seinfeld himself will be choosing just three dailiy clips to share, to keep the content digestible and visitors coming back. Seinfeld told the Times that he has no interest in sharing his comedic aperçus via a blog or Twitter, which strikes him as “comedy with a net.”


Web humor: it’s all the rage right now. just won a Webby, and Alexa indicates the Splitsider, the comedy site spun off of The Awl, is doing well, with a healthy growth trend over the last three months.

A word to the would-be wise guy, then: you might want to get in on this Internet thing.

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[Image: Flickr user alan-light]

About the author

David Zax is a contributing writer for Fast Company. His writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Slate, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal