Judah Friedlander Talks About Life After 30 Rock and Being the World Champion: Interview Outtakes
I think there is -- and especially when it comes to the younger generation of comedians who have Twitter and Facebook -- an oversight in that they spend almost as much time trying to build an audience as they do to develop material.
That's what I am saying and what I was talking about earlier, kind of mocking self-promotion. It's unbelievable. When I started in '89, people weren't even using the internet back then. And your only thought was "Alright, how do I write funnier jokes and how do I get funnier on stage?" And that was it. There was nothing else. Nothing else. And the only way to get more of a following was to keep getting funnier, and word of mouth, and the other way was to get on TV so people would see it and want to come out. And doing radio shows was one way, and the only other way was going to the photocopy place and printing up flyers and putting them up around town. That was pretty much it. The business has completely changed, and often that's the case with show business or any business: The person who is better at marketing is the more successful comic.
I'll go to some cities -- and I won't say any names or anything -- but I'll see some comics that have no television exposure and they're not good comics, and yet they're packing it in because they're very good at self-promotion. And they have a whole team of people working for them. It's bizarre.
Do you think "Shame on that comic?"
No. It's just the way our society is. There's no shortcuts to good comedy. There's shortcuts to financial success, but financial success doesn't necessarily equal good comedy. Good comedy will always just stand on its own, whether 5 people come to see it or 5,000. Good comedy is just good comedy.
Let's say at a sporting event they are announcing the singer who's going to sing the national anthem - they never lead it off with any kind of critical acclaim they've gotten, they actually just say how many records they've sold. It seems like in the past ten, twenty years critique is paid less attention to, and it's just the amount of sales you do is your critique, basically. That equals critical success and to me it seems like a lot of people, whoever is more popular is better. And that's not necessarily the case -- and usually not the case. I mean look at 30 Rock. It doesn't get nearly the ratings that other TV shows get. Now what's funny is debatable, but I think most critics are going to say that 30 Rock is better than Big Bang Theory, but if you voted nationwide Big Bang Theory would probably win. They have more people watching -- a lot more. Does that mean it's a better show?
So a comic who is doing all of this marketing, hey, that's your thing. But it has nothing to do with my opinion of their comedy. If it's good, great. If it sucks, it sucks. And often the best promoters are not the best products.