Comedians take to the virtual streets to save themselves and us all….
When the pandemic hit, it hit us all hard. Millions of us displaced and uncertain. Not to mention literally scared to death.
How we survived was two-fold. One, health matters. Masks, hand sanitizer, and the vaccine. But, even more profound was how we rose up resiliently in the work place. The Internet became the literally electronic bridge between the workforce and solitary confinement. And, video apps like Zoom and Streamyard became our digital lifeboats. No longer had we had to put on completely hold, literally everything we did on our daily commerce. Even judge’s chambers got a ring light and BOOM! The next thing you know, you’ve accidentally become a cat in a Zoom box at a legal meeting.
For standup comics, however, quarantine presented a very unique challenge.
How do we comedians perform to an audience we’re not medically advised to be in the same room with? Enter Zoom. Comedians across the board were signing up, producing shows and literally taking it to the next level. Some comedy shows reflected exactly what they are in real life. Open mic comedy was once again newish comedians performing to an audience exclusively made up of each other. Just like it was and is again on the open mic circuit. Some comics were more innovative and banked off of some buzz they already had before the pandemic and sold tickets to the general public. And on the very tip top level, network talk shows such as Late Night with Stephen Colbert produced what were essentially high-end zoom shows, with each participant – host, guests, band – in another part of the world entirely.
Enter me and my idea. Comedy Dish was born out of the same boredom most of us comedians suddenly found themselves in. Isolated and thirsty for company of anonymous audience members. Co-hosted by my good friend comedian Rick Right (from Rick and Ruby fame) from London and myself in Hollywood, we do the show every Wednesday from 2pm Pacific. We have one guest and, as I tell all the guests, “It’s not an interview show”. It’s about fun conversation. We also do a rotating pub quiz every 15 or 20 minutes, as Brian (Rick Right) is not only a comedian but hosts a pub quiz or two in London. Our guests tend to be comedians, club owners, agents, producers, writers. Anyone involved in the comedy game, particularly standup comedy. And the guest pool is on both sides of the Atlantic, with comics et all, web-casting from somewhere in London. Everyone from Peter Grahame, who runs Downstairs at the Kings Head Comedy Club in London (my home club) to comedian Eddie Brill, long time warm-up comedian and comedian talent coordinator on The Late Show with David Letterman. But, also fellow comedy grunts. Standup stalwarts, who may not have achieved fame and fortune, but who stuck in the game and survived to tell the tale.
Unlike the amount of fictional uncounted ballots in Trump’s tiny mind, our audience is growing
Our international audience averages over 1,000 any given week and (currently) don’t make a dime doing it. It’s been a labor of love. (and yes, plans are afoot to monetize Comedy Dish). Tune in every Wednesday @ 2pm Pacific time on my Facebook page, the Comedy Dish Facebook page or on Twitter or LinkedIn. And check out our schedule of upcoming guests and shows.
Here’s our most recent Comedy Dish, with special guest British comedian Dave Thompson! A great comic, writer, and was the original Tinky Winky Teletubby!
The show is sponsored by a fictional sponsor. Negron Area Rugs. It’s a tribute to the late great comedian Taylor Negron, who we all loved and miss. His famous “Area Rug” routine is classic and we reenact it every single show. It weirdly, brings us together.