Online comedy was already on the rise before the pandemic, but has since skyrocketed. Here, Mark Sinclair examines what kind of writing works best in the online space, plus how brands can get in on the act
Comedy as an industry has had a challenging year of its own, of course. Live stand-up performances have become largely impossible, while comedy’s more traditional broadcast routes – TV and film – remain subject to restraints imposed by lockdowns and new ways of working. It’s within this changing landscape that online comedy has continued to boom, reaffirming how vital it is as a way for writers and performers to make audiences laugh. As the Guardian’s comedy critic Brian Logan noted in his review of the year: “We were spoiled for digital comedy in 2020, as the live performance industry sought new ways to make work – and make a living.”
It’s no joke to say that in addition to the scientists, the nurses and the teachers (and even the good people at Zoom), online comedy has played its part in helping many of us to navigate these uncertain and decidedly unfunny times.