Secrets Behind a Successful Comedy Podcast

Arts & EntertainmentHumor

  • Author Sean Green
  • Published April 30, 2011
  • Word count 725

It used to be if you were in a comedian in a small market you were forced to move to LA or New York to make, however with the advent of the comedy podcast things are changing rapidly. Popular stand up comedians like Adam Carolla, Greg Fitzsimmons and Jim Jefferies have already started podcasting as a way of expanding their reach as a performer and helping to spread their unique brand of comedy. Through podcasting comedians who may have been stuck in a small market and never discovered now have access to a global audience. Podcasts have a variety of formats and genre, but the comedy podcast seems to be one of the more popular. Creating a comedy podcast can be broken down into three broad steps, planning your podcast, recording your podcast and distributing your podcast.

Genre, formatting and the flow of your comedy podcast can not be overlooked. Some comedians choose to pick a specific theme for their podcast, like Doug Benson and his I Love Movies podcast. Other comedians like Adam Carolla choose to go with a format similar to that of a traditional morning show, complete with a news girl, sound effects and interview segments. The minimalist approach has worked for some stand up comedians like Bill Burr and his Monday Morning Podcast, which features just the comedian speaking into a microphone. Successful comedy podcasts often have recurring bits, which help create a structure for the program and aids in building listener loyalty. If you aren’t a seasoned comedian, or just beginning in broadcasting, I would recommend picking a genre that you have some experience on or at least a lot of strong opinions. Starting a comedy podcast that doesn’t focus on one specific theme, may be too overwhelming for someone just starting out.

A computer has become the standard device to record comedy podcasts. You’ll want a room that is not only quiet, but will also provide solid acoustics for your comedy radio recording. You will need to make sure that the microphones are spaced out properly to avoid feedback and that the microphones are held in a stand to make it easier to talk. The microphones can be mixed using a simple mixer, and that feed can be sent into the computer which will be recorded using a software program. Having someone monitor the comedy podcast as it’s been recording, is also important. You wouldn’t want to waste an entire hour performing a comedy radio show, only to realize that the audio is unusable. Garage Band, is a popular program that many people use to record their comedy podcast. After recording your comedy podcast, you can edit it down if you’d like with an audio program, I recommend the program GoldWave.

Getting people to download your comedy podcast is the final step. First your comedy podcast must be uploaded to a central location for download, whether it is your personal website or a free file server there are plenty of options when it comes to housing your podcast. Publicizing your comedy podcast there are a multitude of options, Facebook, Twitter and iTunes are great ways to get people to check out your podcast. There are even podcasts out there that review other podcasts, you can submit your show to them for review and a good way to gain more exposure. Posting your comedy podcast on iTunes requires a separate tutorial that can be found at Apple.com. Additionally a great way to get your comedy podcast noticed is to be a guest on other people’s podcast, or to post on forums to generate listeners to your podcast.

Now on to next week, repeat the simple steps of recording and distributing and you are on your way to a successful comedy podcast. Or if the formula needs tweaking make adjustments, but the keep to a successful comedy podcast is consistency. People get accustomed to enjoying a show and you want to keep them coming back and continuing to listen. As far as monetizing the podcast, seek out advertisers or affiliate programs as a way to generate revenue. Many comedy podcasts are not yet profitable, however with the seismic shift to on-line advertising those days could be few and far between, so strike while the iron is hot and start your own comedy podcast.

Sean Green is a leading stand up comedian in the Los Angeles comedy scene. You can listen to Sean weekly on his comedy podcast The Green Room with Sean Green, get episodes at http://www.seantgreen.com or follow Sean on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/greenroomshow

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