Is Youtube Destroying Comedy?

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Stand-Up Comedians, YouTube Censorship, and the Unexpected Beer Olympics Showdown

Date Posted:July 5, 2023

Author:Tanya Wisecracker

YouTube, the world's premier video-sharing platform, is undergoing a moment of reckoning within the comedy community. Comedians are voicing concerns about stringent monetization policies and increasing censorship, the implications of which threaten not just their creative license but the very essence of comedy itself. Among these, stand-up comic Tim Dillon, known for his widely followed "Tim Dillon Show," has been at the forefront.

The Battle Between Stand-Up Comedians and YouTube's Increasing Censorship

Over the years, YouTube has proven to be a tremendous platform for comedians to reach audiences worldwide, sell comedy tickets, and promote their live comedy shows. However, recently, the platform seems to be increasingly censorious, making it increasingly challenging for comedians to express their art without fear of retribution.

Tim Dillon, whose comedy podcast boasts over 100 million views and half a million subscribers since its launch in 2016, has been particularly vocal about these concerns. Dillon's podcast, known for its unique ranting style that beautifully lampoons our culture's day-to-day absurdities, was recently slapped with an age restriction on YouTube. An outraged Dillon took to Twitter to announce his intention to start uploading complete podcasts to Twitter and Rumble. He stated, "I don't think YouTube is the future for comedy. The sensors have gone completely insane."

In solidarity, other comics like Yannis Pappas and Theo Von echoed his sentiments. They have been utilizing Twitter to voice their frustration over what they perceive as 'corporate censorship.' The threat to leave YouTube, which should ideally lead to introspection within the platform, instead resulted in another strike for Dillon. Unable to upload, Dillon informed his fans that the upcoming episode would only be available on audio platforms.

The Danger of Self-Censorship in Comedy Due to YouTube's Policies

However, the danger runs deeper than the inability to upload content. The fear is that these restrictions may coerce comics into self-censorship, altering their material to remain in YouTube's good books. This compromise threatens the art of comedic expression, potentially leading to the sterilization of humor.

This predicament has led comedians to explore alternative platforms such as Rumble and Twitter, with the latter gaining popularity among comics due to its recent acquisition by Elon Musk. However, while these platforms offer more freedom, none match YouTube's user base and ease of use, which makes this transition challenging.

The Silver Lining: Stand-Up Comedians Embrace Independence Amidst YouTube's Clampdown

Despite these challenges, a silver lining has emerged for comedians in the form of going independent. The migration to Austin, the creation of comedy podcasts, and the success of self-produced specials attest to this trend. While YouTube once facilitated this independence, it now seemingly imposes the same limitations that comics sought to escape from, leading to the exploration of alternatives like Twitter and Rumble. However, as these platforms are still in development, their viability as a reliable alternative remains uncertain.

Bert Kreischer and Shane Gillis: A Refreshing Interlude at the Beer Olympics 2023

Amidst this upheaval within the comedy world, stand-up comedians Bert Kreischer and Shane Gillis have given us something to smile about. The duo recently teamed up to form Team Shert Krillis and participated in the "Bussing With The Boys" Beer Olympics 2023. Unofficially known as top binge drinkers in comedy, they donned matching Notre Dame polos and went head-to-head with athletes, celebrities, and other comedians, creating a fascinating blend of athleticism, camaraderie, and, of course, comedy.

Unfortunately, the beer-chugging duo did not emerge victorious in the end. However, their participation served as a refreshing departure from the ongoing contention surrounding YouTube's increasing censorship. Watching NFL players and comedians intermingle in a spirit of fun and competition was indeed a spectacle to behold.

The Future of Stand-Up Comedy: Pushing Boundaries and Exploring New Platforms

The comedy community stands at a pivotal juncture, caught between the allure of a vast audience on YouTube and the platform's ever-tightening leash. While comics continue to push boundaries and uphold the sanctity of comedic expression, the role of platforms like YouTube in fostering or hindering this art form remains a contentious issue. In the meantime, comedians like Dillon and Von continue to explore new frontiers, both in their content and the platforms they choose to share it on. In this struggle, the hope is that comedy, in its unfiltered form, will prevail. After all, it's the audacious spirit of stand-up comedy that keeps us laughing in a world that so often forgets to.

Rolling Credits: Who appeared on comedy podcasts this week?

Some of the clips used in this video are from these comedy podcasts:

New(-ish) stand-up comedy specials out recently include:

  • Sledgehammer by Tom Segura on Netflix

  • Reality Check by Kevin Hart on Peacock

  • Walking Red Flag: A Crowdwork Special by Matt Rife on YouTube

  • Hair Plugs and Heartach by Matteo Lane on YouTube

  • Shane Gillis has begun filming his new special to be released at a later date

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