Chris Rock, Jon Stewart lament how technology has changed the game for stand-up

Chris Rock appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, ostensibly to promote his new movie, 2 Days in New York, as well as sneak in a mention of the new FX talk show he’s executive producing, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

In between all of that, however, Rock and Stewart found a few minutes (starting at the five-minute mark of this clip) to discuss how technology — namely YouTube — has made it increasingly difficult for stand-up comedians such as Rock to develop and hone new material. Well, it’s not YouTube so much as the rudeness of “fans” who record comedians telling brand-new jokes and then uploading them for all of the world to see, no matter how not-ready the jokes are for a mass audience.

Stewart compared this tidal shift to the introduction of television, and how that technological advance made it difficult for the comedians of the 1940s and 1950s to keep telling the same jokes that they had told for years and years. Not that it did that for everyone. And this point allowed Rock and Stewart to note how musicians are lauded and praised for performing “the hits” decade after decade, while comedians are prompted and forced to keep it fresh and new for audiences.

Roll the clip.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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