The original Not Ready for Prime-Time Players would kill to be making comedy in 2023.
So much material. So many options. So many ways to skewer western culture in the 21st century.
Instead, that group’s successors focus on game show skits, hard-left polemics and anything to protect a president who can’t even read a poem off a teleprompter.
WATCH: Joe Biden tried to read a poem… and it went as well as you’d think it would. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/yh0HcXI5SZ
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) March 22, 2023
So where can we find comedy, the kind that doesn’t hold back or apologize for telling the “wrong” jokes?
Thankfully, an alternative comedy scene is here, ready and willing to let you laugh like you did in the ’90s again.
Compound Media, featuring “The Anthony Cumia Show” along with other comedy broadcasts, exists outside the Hollywood mainstream. He can’t be canceled because he’s the boss. The subscription service caters to his fans and no one else.
It lets him weigh in on political and cultural matters without fear of reprisal. And he’s taken the Compound Media show on the road with tours featuring the platform’s lineup.
Tickets are going FAST for the Comedians of the Compound at the @ImprovOrlando! Get yours now before they sell out!
— Chrissie Mayr🇺🇸 (@ChrissieMayr) October 23, 2022
Podcasting remains an imperfect but perfectly viable source for free-range laughs. The medium is ideally suited for comics open to speaking their minds, chasing laughs where they can find them and experimenting with ideas and language to form tomorrow’s killer set.
Podcasts can be (mostly) clean but engaging like “The Pete and Sebastian Show” and “Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade.” Or, they can push deeper, challenging societal norms in ways you won’t hear elsewhere, like “The Adam Carolla Show” and “Monday Morning Podcast” with Bill Burr.
Google-owned YouTube offers another way to enjoy (mostly) unexpurgated comedy. The SML channel, which features Jeffy and other puppet creations, tells jokes that wouldn’t fly on broadcast or even cable TV.
Newer ventures like “That Show Tonight” have a YouTube presence, telling right-leaning jokes that savage the targets “SNL” won’t go near.
Yet YouTube occasionally restricts comedians from telling certain jokes, much like TikTok and Instagram block gags that wouldn’t fly on any given late-night program.
That partial censorship is fueling Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube’s global dominance. Not only can comedians say what they want on the newer platform, Rumble just signed conservative comedian Steven Crowder to bring “Louder with Crowder,” in all its uncensored glory.
And Crowder isn’t alone.
He’s brought other free-range comedians like Nick Di Paolo, Bryan Callen and Jim Breuer of “SNL” fame with him. Here’s betting more comedians will follow.
Rumble recently shared Russell Brand’s new special, “Brandemic,” along with its partner platform, Locals.com.
Consumers also should follow their favorite comedians to find the best way to watch their new specials. Comics like Andrew Schulz, Louis C.K. and Dave Landau have put out guerrilla comedy hours without the support of a streaming platform or studio.
Schulz went that route after an unnamed streamer refused to air select bits from his routine. So he bought the show back and released it himself.
Schulz tripled his investment in last year’s “Infamous” in mere days. C.K. is selling out Madison Square Garden after being ex-communicated by Hollywood for admitting to exposing himself in front of multiple women.
The most unusual comedy source comes courtesy of Whitney Cummings. Or, to be exact, OFTV.
That’s Only Fans TV.
The platform gives Cummings the freedom to do or say what she pleases. Next month, she’ll embrace the classic roast format which used to be a staple at Comedy Central.
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) March 2, 2023
Comedy remains in the crosshairs of the woke elites who run Hollywood. It’s not always easy, or ideal, but consumers can still hear unfiltered comedians.
They just have to work a little harder to find them.