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Has Standup Comedy Peaked?

Comedy and making people laugh has been a staple of entertainment and culture for as long as people can remember. Making people laugh is one of the easiest ways to make them happy and keep them entertained, so it’s no wonder why comedy is always so popular. Spawned from the comedy genre is an offshoot of entertainment, standup comedy. Standup comedy usually revolves around joke telling and impeccable timing to entertain audiences rather than skits and acting. Standup comedians usually tell jokes and stories that revolve around their lives and experiences rather than act out a funny plot like traditional comedies do. Standup comedy has been rapidly growing in popularity, to the point where it would be next to impossible to not be exposed to it in some way. That begs the question, has standup comedy peaked? Will this form of entertainment continue to grow at rapid rates? Let’s take a look.

Netflix Specials

One of the biggest complaints about standup comedy is the amount of standup comedy specials that are being released on streaming platforms such as Netflix. From the outside, it appears that just about every standup comedian that has had a drop of success now has a taped special on a streaming platform. Some of these comedians have even released multiple specials on these platforms. Some fans have argued that some of these specials are not high quality and that the comedians receiving them don’t really deserve them. They argue that the market for standup comedians has become oversaturated, and that’s why it has peaked. However, as more and more specials are uploaded it is clear that this new standup comedy craze isn’t going away anytime soon.

The Material

Another reason that people may perceive that standup comedy has peaked is the material that is being produced by top tier comedians. Many argue that these comedians are very similar and reuse old material. However, others argue that standup comedy material is as innovative and funny as ever. New jokes seem to be popping up in a variety of places, and material is kept fresh by up and coming comedians. The standup comedy world has a way of punishing stale material as if you are unable to adapt and innovate, a younger and more innovative comedian will take your place. Until this cycle stops, one cannot say that stand up comedy has peaked or stagnated.

The Variety

One of the big reasons that standup comedy has exploded in popularity in recent years is the wide variety of comedians that are doing standup. First, you have traditional comedians such as John Mulaney that rely on their great storytelling and impeccable timing to make jokes funny. Other comedians such as Pete Davidson have a much darker and morbid sense of humour to appeal to older audiences. Comedians such as Gabriel Iglesias rely on sound effects and noises in order to add flare to their jokes. Finally, comedians such as Bo Burnham take their jokes and turn them into songs, combining two very successful segments of live entertainment. No matter how you like your standup comedy, there are sure to be comedians out there that appeal to your sense of humour. If standup comedy truly has not peaked, then comedians will continue to innovate and come up with new ideas. Who knows, soon we may see the rise of christian comedians or dancing comedians?

The Fame

Another argument that standup comedy has peaked is how famous comedians have become. Former standup comedians such as Adam Sandler and Dave Chappelle have reached the peak of stardom. Comedians like them have become A-list celebrities and have moved on to many forms of live entertainment. People argue that these celebrities reached the pinnacle of stardom, showing that standup comedy has reached its peak and can’t grow anymore. However, this point can be argued, as more and more comedians use standup comedy to launch an A-list celebrity career. If standup comedy keeps producing stars, then there’s no way that you can argue that standup comedy has peaked. Newer comedians like Pete Davidson have enjoyed successful celebrity lives, proving that standup comedy can continue to churn out star talent.

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