When I first started comedy, the green rooms at comedy clubs and shows were filled with non-stop laughter. Stories, jokes and belly laughs. That is still sometimes the case, don’t get me wrong, but most of our conversations today revolve around social media and breaking the algorithm. For better or worse, it is clearly more important for your career to get a viral clip or 100k followers than to have 30 minutes of good jokes.
Followers and views on social media govern a lot of our careers now. I can honestly say when I post a clip or a reel and it does poorly, it ruins my day. I try to guess what I did wrong and why the algorithm won't show the video to even my own followers. Three years ago, I didn't even know what an algorithm was. And maybe in a few years AI will play a role and then maybe we don’t even need to write jokes, we can just type in premises and let the AI do the work.
I had a comedy club tell me that I did not have enough followers to headline their club. It is frustrating but also a necessary evil. We all must embrace it or be left behind. I have seen some of my peers and well respected comedians who have worked for years in comedy slowly lose work to up while up and coming (often hard working) comedians who may not have a full 45 minute headlining set , come in and sell out rooms based on their TikTok followings. They put butts in seats and in the end, thats what matters.
Being funny is not enough anymore. You have to be a draw. So if you like comedians or want to support them, don't just follow them on social media, share their clips, like and comment on their work, go see their live shows, buy their merch, tell your friends when they come to their town. For now, just follow me on Insta (@paulfarahvar) Oh yeah, and tell your friends in Bowling Green, Nashville, Minneapolis and Charlotte to come see me! #careerchange #formerlawyer #socialmedia #reels #comedian
Paul Farahvar is a comedian hailing from Chicago, Ill.
Paul Farahvar Comedy