JH: The thing is, if you like doing comedy, just like anything else — if you’re a musician, or a cartoonist, or if you’re a writer, you know — the traditional ways into those worlds have been…smashed. Well not smashed exactly, because that’s a metaphor that doesn’t make sense because you don’t smash a pathway.
RS: Not with that attitude.
JH: [laughs] Oh right. So there are still the traditional pathways to success in a given field, but there are many more than there used to be. You don’t have to go through as many gates to get to where you want to go. And that’s a point of contention, particularly, I think, in comedy — there’s a lot of pretty open resentment between the traditional touring club comedians and the alternative comedian world…and a lot of, like, “You’re doin’ it wrong.”
RS: Yeah, like, ‘You’re not out there playing shitty comedy clubs, you’re using all the other media at your disposal to get some kind of exposure, some kind of dialogue going with other people in the business…’
JH: Right. And even before there was social media, before there was a whole lot of Internet, back in the 90s, the alternative comedy world that Janeane Garofalo and Judd Apatow and David Cross came up in, they were playing venues that weren’t traditional comedy clubs, and they were doing something that I think that traditional club touring comics felt was wrong, which was they were playing to audiences that wanted to see them. Whereas a truly traditional club comic will play to whatever drunken audience shows up that night, and has to win them over.