R.I.P. The Pitch App for comedy writers

So much has transpired over just these past six months (which may have felt like six years), let alone the actual past three years since Funny or Die debuted the Pitch app for comedy writers at the 2017 Just For Laughs comedy festival

But just a few months later, layoffs began hitting Funny or Die, and Pitch along with it. This was a bulletin from January 23, 2018:

Pitch did continue, albeit not with the hype or backing it had before. And now Pitch is done for, it seems. Here’s the email blast confirming the end for Pitch…

Hello Pitch Community,

I hope this message finds you safe and healthy, it’s been quite a year and I think it’s still currently illegal to send an email to people without acknowledging that up top. 

I’ll just get right to it since this is a bit of a bummer announcement to write but, it is with a heavy heart I announce that after 5 years (!!), Yin, Brad and I have finally decided it’s time to close up Pitch. 

This isn’t an easy decision, it’s something we’ve tried to fight off as long as we could. It’s a decision made all the more difficult because so many of you still use the app regularly (or lovingly check in every once in a while). It’s very gratifying to see that people still log in everyday to post pitches and topics and demand that we make a “dark mode” of the app.

But, the other side of running Pitch is that it costs us time and money to keep it going and the sad fact is that we just haven’t been booking enough gigs to pay for that. I think there are a lot of reasons for that. You can blame the state of the internet, Covid, our own ability to devote time to rustling up business we thought was appropriate for Pitch. Or maybe it just was never gonna be in the cards for Pitch to be a profitable business without sacrificing what made it cool. (Or fuck, maybe we coulda sold all the way out and it still wouldn’t have made enough money).

I could talk at length about all those things but the answer remains the same: We were gonna have to close up at some point and, well, it seems like we’ve reached that point. Or, to be more precise, we will on September 28th

We wanted to give you all enough time to export all your jokes if you want and to give you one last chance to get paid out if you have sold something in the last couple months and still haven’t done your paperwork. And one last chance to spam a topic with 20 shitty jokes, the worst of which becoming Top Pitch somehow.

Sadly when we close up shop, Pitch won’t become a dusty old museum frozen in time you can return to and remember fondly, it will just vanish forever. Like a beautiful cloud in the wind, or the terminator when he gets lowered into the molten lava. All of the 5,580 accounts and scores will disappear along with the 1,580,355 jokes in 42,930 topics people have written over the years. 

Yeah, it’s all a bummer. BUT BUT BUT WE WON’T BE GOING QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT! We’ll be spending the next month celebrating Pitch on the app and with a bunch of “FAREWELL TO PITCH” LIVE SHOWS AND HANGS on TWITCH! 

The plan right now is to have a show every week until we die. The first of which will be this Friday the 4th at 6pm pst/9pm est on our Twitch Channel

We’ve been doing these for the last month or so and they are a lot of fun. If you want to compete, sign up here

If you want to just hang out and watch and vote then just join the Pitch on Twitch Team on the app and follow along here

Other than that, I don’t really know what else we should be doing to say goodbye to Pitch but I just threw up a topic about it so maybe pop in there and suggest stuff or just roast Pitch mercilessly while you still have the time. 

I’d never really made an app or online community before making Pitch, I didn’t really know what I was doing then to create it and I still don’t really know what I’m doing now to destroy it. But I do know that, over the years, I’ve always been so impressed with the talent, thoughtfulness and creativity of everyone in this community. I’ve met a lot of you and been charmed to learn a lot of you met each other on Pitch and started up projects together. For being a barely moderated pseudo-anonymous online community, Pitch really attracted some fantastic people. 

I don’t know if Pitch ever became what I first dreamed it could become, but, over the years, I think what my opinion of what Pitch should become also changed a lot. The internet of 2015 isn’t the internet of 2020 and I do feel good knowing Pitch never became something I thought was bad. Instead, I think (I hope?), it’s been a positive and constructive or at the very least neutral thing in people’s lives. To my knowledge, Pitch is responsible for zero genocides and its impact on American democracy is proudly “negligeable.” 

I love that hundreds of people sold their first joke through the platform. I hope that for as long or as little as people used Pitch it helped them figure out if writing jokes was something they were good at, or, perhaps, something they weren’t and that’s ok too. And maybe it even helped some people get better too.

The business pitch for Pitch was always that it would be this secret little club where comedy writers would go to hone their chops and sell things to institutions who wanted jokes. I wanted the stuff we wrote on Pitch to find its way out into the wider world where we might be the only ones who knew where it was all being made. But the thing I discovered was that everything we wrote was always kinda funniest on Pitch. Which I guess makes sense, I’ve learned the first rule of media platforms is that things that do well on a platform are the things meant to do well on that platform. So I’m kinda excited that for this final month that’s how we can experience Pitch together for the last time, on Pitch. Yelling at each other for not voting and flagging each other’s shitty dupes for old times sake. 

Alright, that’s all for now. If ya need me, hit me up matt@pitch.live. And feel free to drop Brad (brad@pitch.live) and Yin (yin@pitch.live) a line to thank them for their tireless service to this dumb little joke writing app too. 

I’ll see ya in the Hang Zone and I hope you join us for the shows. And, if you are one of the people who logged into Pitch one time 4 years ago, never thought about it again and are still this far into this email, well, that’s very funny but I get it. What the fuck else are you gonna do these days.

Matt, Brad and Yin

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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