Aspiring Comedians Find Audience Online As Pandemic Shuts Down Comedy Clubs, Venues

Thursday, April 15th 2021, 1:18 pm
By: CBS News

With comedy venues and clubs mostly closed during the pandemic, comedians found a new place to share their work: social media. Comics said it might not be a fad, but a way of the future.

Shannon Fiedler was just getting started in stand up, and then the pandemic hit.

“And then every comedy club and every place in the world shut down," she said.

With clubs and venues closed, Fiedler started recording herself and sharing jokes online. One of her TikTok videos got more than two million views. She’s among thousands of comic-hopefuls who’ve turned social media into a stage.

As comedy clubs begin to reopen, some comics say that sharing jokes online isn’t a pandemic fad, but the way of the future.

After years of doing open mics, Taylor Wolfe started posting her comedy online, even before the pandemic. With an audience in lockdown, her account exploded, jumping to more than a quarter million followers.

"My friends in the standup world were like: Wait, how do you, how do you do these videos? How did you get followers? People are realizing there's more than one way to break into the world of comedy," she said.

That was the ticket for Jack Martin. Last year, his viral videos landed him a Hollywood agent, and a role on an upcoming network drama.

"I would not be here without social media," Martin said.

His advice for aspiring comedians and actors is to ditch the classes and download TikTok.