"The comedian Simon Munnery, who invented top-selling computer games for the ZX81 whilst still a teenager, was reviewed, favourably, by the Guardian recently as ‘the closest stand-up comedy gets to art’, and has pointed out himself that this suggests that however good stand-up gets, it can never really be art. There is an impassable canyon between the two. Munnery has since decided that rather than it being good comedy, he now wants his work to be categorized as ‘shit art’.
I really like Stewart’s book for its frank honesty about the industry he works in and the frustration of trying to succeed with someone else pulling the leavers and pressing the buttons. There’s a bit where after he quits stand-up and is planning his return that he realises that he doesn’t want to play to Johnny Nobody who won’t appreciate his work, that he’s tired of half filling venues that are too big for him to play and would rather have a succession of sold out shows at small theaters or unions or pubs and start building a name for himself again, start building his audience and for the first time make money.
It’s nothing new, especially in comics, this idea of creating something good to a devoted audience and start building from there, but it’s an idea that I need reminding of sometimes. Don’t try and please those who aren’t interested in your work, start pleasing and rewarding those who do.
I don’t always know what to use Tumblr for, but hey if you want to ask me something you should do that. It might even be entertaining (it won’t) or well informed (nah-uh) or kinda self loathing (yeah that’s the one).