If Shakespeare was right and brevity is indeed the soul of wit, Comedy Central and Twitter are on the right track.
That’s because the comedy network and social media platform have teamed up to launch #ComedyFest, or what they are calling the “first-ever celebration of comedy and comedians to be programmed on Twitter.”
Comedy Central promises a great week of content, as well as an opportunity to connect with fans and grow its Twitter base, which, as of Wednesday, stood at 355,000 followers.
#ComedyFest kicks off April 29 with comedian Mel Brooks setting up a Twitter account at LA’s Paley Center. It will also include Carl Reiner and Judd Apatow. Brooks’ handle will be @MelBrooks. The event will be live-streamed in his first tweet. It will also be accessible on Comedy Central’s website.
The Brooks event will be the festival’s only “live event per se,” says Walter Levitt, executive vice president of marketing at Comedy Central. The remaining events will take place via tweets and Vine videos.
All festival content will be tagged with #ComedyFest, which will easily enable fans to follow along, Levitt says.
The five-day #ComedyFest will feature 16 events with more than 50 comedians, such as Gabriel Iglesias, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Jeffrey Ross, the Reno 911 cast, Steve Agee, Paul Feig, Neal Brennan and Al Madrigal. Comedy Central has added a #ComedyFest tab to its homepage slideshow that takes users to the festival schedule on its Tumblr page. The schedule also includes participating comedians’ Twitter handles.
“It’ll be a week of really interesting, innovative and funny events over the course of the next week — all taking place on Twitter — and some of it linked back to things we’ll do on TV, but all with the same perspective: to give comedians and fans a place to ply their trade and laugh together on Twitter,” Levitt says.
At its core, Levitt describes the event as a chance to try something new on a platform becoming a great place for comedy content.
“Twitter has become over the last few years an unbelievable place for comedians to thrive,” Levitt says. “The comedy community is active on Twitter and Comedy Central is active [on Twitter], so, back in the fall, we were having lunch with the folks at Twitter and the idea surfaced and we thought what a great opportunity for two media brands to come together to try something new…it feels right and appropriate for the comedy world.”
Comedy Central’s core audience is 18-to-34-year-olds.
“The relationship that generation has with comedy reaches far beyond what any generation before has had with comedy,” Levitt says. “For this generation, comedy is their social currency. What young men say is it’s the single most defining characteristic/identifier and their taste in comedy says more about themselves than music, sports or religion.”
Levitt attributes this in part to the ability to share comedic content socially.
“It’s what we see all the time — young guys finding and sharing [content], hoping to be the first of their friends to share, so social media is so important for not just Millennials overall, but fans of comedy [generally] and what we do as a brand at Comedy Central is continue to provide our fans with lots they can share.”
In addition to promoting the festival via Comedy Central’s feeds, Levitt says Twitter will be promoting the festival through its own feeds and blog.