Rumble Goes All-In on Free Speech with Russell’s ‘Brandemic’
YouTube competitor uncorks Brit's latest comedy special ... with more to come
Who wouldn’t want to air Russell Brand’s new comedy special?
The bawdy Brit has north of 6 million followers on YouTube alone, and every week his caustic commentaries make news.
That kind of following is catnip to entertainment studios, eager for guaranteed eyeballs on their investments.
So, naturally, the comedian’s “Brandemic” comedy special is debuting exclusively on … Rumble.
Yes, the YouTube competitor snagged exclusive rights to Brand’s take on the pandemic and much more. The pay-per-view event, with a $19.99 price tag, can be seen on Roku, LG TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Web, or a mobile phone once purchased from Rumble.
It’s a topsy turvy world for comedy in 2023. Canceled comic Louis C.K. is thriving without mainstream studios or platforms, delivering laughs directly to his fans. Anthony Schulz distributed his “Infamous” comedy special by himself last year and quickly turned a profit.
And then some.
Now, Brand is teaming with Rumble to ensure his jokes are told on his terms. That may not be the case if the comedian aligned with Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO Max.
Today’s comedians often want the power to call their own shots, and guerrilla platforms like Rumble let them do just that.
And it’s only the beginning.
Rumble will be the home for “Louder with Crowder,” set to join the platform later this month. Crowder shared with “The Megyn Kelly Show” that he’ll be joined by more freedom-friendly comics on Rumble soon.
Brand re-emerged as a comic truthteller during the pandemic, pointing out glaring lockdown hypocrisies along with media corruption writ large. That boosted his profile and made him a YouTube sensation.
He’s not alone.
Comedians like Joe Rogan, Tim Dillion, Tyler Fischer, Chrissie Mayr and Ryan Long similarly tell jokes that wouldn’t square with your average late night TV monologue. They use Patreon, podcasts, social media and touring schedules to build their fan bases.
At some point, mainstream Hollywood will realize it’s leaving oodles of money on the table by dismissing comedians like Brand who don’t toe the progressive line. By then, an entire infrastructure may be in place, and rebellious comics won’t need the old eco-systems to survive.
This has taken a lot longer than I predicted. More than three years ago (you can tell it’s long ago because I called it “PC” and not “woke.”) I wrote
“In a capitalist economy, at least one without a government thumb on the scales, the profit motive will be a powerful tool to rescue the Republic. The misguided keepers of the culture (press, entertainment, academe) are all in effect also sellers of tickets (called subscription, pay per view, or tuition) . They have to have noticed that nobody bought tickets to see BillandHilliary, indeed, nobody would even go to see them for free, but Mr. Trump can overflow an arena. They can see that Dave Chappelle is a phenom, skewering Political Correctness. They can see that the movie rights to the Russiagate story will be worth owning, since the press has spent three years providing it with a trillion dollars worth of pre-production publicity. If the guys who run Hollywood now don’t want a piece of the action, some new guys with money will. Sure, they can and will spin it their way, but the closer they stick to the facts, the more tickets they will sell. ”
“1. I know very little about Chapelle, but it seems clear to me that in PC, he has seen a bloated balloon of pomposity, ripe for the skewering. And he is right.
2. There are 300 cities in the US of population 100,00 or more, and most of them are west of the Hudson and east of Hollywood. If Chapelle survives, he will thrive, sell out huge concert venues in those places and make tons of money. That will have two salubrious effects. One will be that other comedians will realize that not only is it relatively easy to make fun of PC, and not only is it survivable, it is profitable, too; and they will imitate him. The other effect will be (and I would wager a lot that it is already happening) that the folks in charge of “Hollywood” or “show biz” will notice the money, too, and will offer Chapelle and his imitators lots of platforms for pomposity skewering. The very recent 7-hour (!) CNN Climate Catastrophe Dem “Debate” and Insanity Auction can provide fodder for ten comedy specials, but it will take some effort to exaggerate the lunacy for comic effect.”
Fast forward three years and middle schoolers are making mix tapes of Biden gaffes, Harris word salads, and Meghan and Harry holding press conferences to demand more privacy and whining that their crowns don’t fit right. Just imagine what a trained, experienced cadre of joke-writers, cartoonists, and film editors could do if properly motivated.
Pass the popcorn.