Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Comedy Central to team with Twitter for #ComedyFest comedy festival

This comedy festival will have no long, drawn-out jokes longer than 140 characters. That is, of course, unless the comics use multi-part jokes. Comedy Central announced on Sunday that a five-day comedy festival will be held next week, but on Twitter.

Seriously -- for a comedy festival, anyway -- the festival will allow a little leeway for comics. While it will take place almost completely on Twitter, comedians will also be able to post video excerpts of routines and round tables. They will also post jokes using the hashtag #ComedyFest.

Part of the video humor will be generated through the use of Twitter's Vine video-sharing service. In January, Twitter introduced Vine, which allows users to post six-second clips -- sort of a video version of Twitter's own 140-character brevity.

Following up on the #ComedyFest, as early as next month, Comedy Central plans to introduce an app, called "CC: Stand-Up." Free and ad-supported, it will look and feel like a cable channel devoted to stand-up comedians. "CC: Stand-Up" will stream videos of comics performing their routines.

The app will include a discovery algorithm that will recommend other comics to viewers based on their streaming history.

On Monday, the only #ComedyFest event that will be live and held in front of an audience will be streamed by Twitter. The event will take place at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.

It will be a panel discussion that will include Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner (of "The 2,000-year-old Man" fame) along with host Judd Apatow. Reiner and Apatow will attempt to persuade Brooks to join Twitter, which he has previously eschewed, telling friends that it could not possibly capture his “impish” quality.

In an interview, Reiner said it may turn out to be quite a battle. “We’ll see if we can get the old man," meaning his longtime friend Mel Brooks, "to talk (tweet, post)” on Twitter, he said.

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