Looking back over the history of comedy, much of the great US Comedians came through specific channels. Working at a comedy theatre has opened a door to understand the channels which most comedians flow through. Please note that I say most not all. There are always people who buck the system and make their own route, but the large majority of comedians went through various institutions.
For the previous generation, the large selection of comedians went through SNL before breaking out on their own but today it seems as if the talented proving grounds is the Comedy Central show with Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show.” They’ve had Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, John Hodgmann is up and coming, and a small handful of other comedians who are working their way out. Sure SNL has put out a few as well, but in terms of relevance I hear people talking about The Daily Show a lot more than SNL.
This could be attributed to the fact that The Daily Show is, well, daily. And SNL is only weekly, but I honestly only know a small handful of people who watch SNL and talk about it. I know some friends who dream of breaking out as comedians and so they watch it, but other than that, I think SNL is appealing to our parents and our older siblings.
The Daily Show has its spin off, The Colbert Report, which has proven to be meteoric in its success, but it hasn’t produced the comedians that Jon Stewart’s show has. Yet.
So watch out Lorne Michaels, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are gunning for you!