Comedy was really hard. Comedy is now even harder. It’s a joke. And this is someone who’s done quite well out of it. It’s hard for anyone starting out and getting to where I am now in my live, wanting to do other things. When you factor in how you’re going to support yourself and possibly a partner for chunks of time out comedy. There’s not that many people making a living strictly off of stand up.
In this episode of the Creative Connection I’m joined by comedian, Johnny Cochrane. Whilst the 3rd episode of the first season, I believe this was the first episode of the podcast I recorded. I’m grateful it was too, Johnny’s kind and talkative nature really warmed me up into the interview and helped prep me for the rest of the season. This episode was particularly interesting to me as at the time I was writing my own set to try and dabble in standup (this set was eventually scrapped after turning up to club underprepared and given the lifeline of them not having any spaces. Ideal truly because I reread it a few months ago and yikes).
Johnny offered a lot of really interesting insight to how the comedy world had changed through the rise of social driven content and video on demand platforms, as well as a direct result of economic changes the UK went through.
Johnny: Comedy was really hard. Comedy is now even harder. It’s a joke. And this is someone who’s done quite well out of it. It’s hard for anyone starting out and getting to where I am now in my live, wanting to do other things. When you factor in how you’re going to support yourself and possibly a partner for chunks of time out comedy. There’s not that many people making a living strictly off of stand up. There’s plenty of professional comics who either have to find a side-job now or have to look at finding other ways to make money.
Jared: Have you noticed this transition happening whilst you were working in comedy? Or did you join it at the point where it already had happened?
Johnny: When I got in, I went through the early stages where it was a free for all. People were getting quite far ahead. It was basically around the recession. I remember coming back from travelling, the recession has just hit. Clubs started to shut, the less cash people had in their pocket the less they were going out to watch content. They’d stay at home and watch ‘Live at the Apollo’.
Jared: Do you think video on demand has affected the comedy circuit?
Johnny: We live in a saturated market. Before if people wanted to watch comedy they could stick on ‘Live at the Apollo’ and watch the latest comedians, once it finished they either had to wait a week for the next episode or head on down to the local comedy club. Nowadays people have access to high standards of comedy on Youtube or video on demand platforms 24/7. It’s just made it a bit harder for comedy clubs to keep going and for comedians to keep going.
Later on in the episode, Johnny broke down the creative process he went through whilst writing his set ‘Appeal’ which he took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.
Listen to the episode on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts & Spotify.