How TikTok is helping aspiring comedians find success


“We wish to change into comedians full time and give up our day jobs quickly,” says Say.

There’s no denying TikTok has cemented its place because the “humorous” app – the comedy hashtag alone has over 1645 billion views, and essentially the most adopted particular person on the platform is Senegalese-born comic Khabane Lame (146 million).

Over 7 million Australians now use the app, and Australian comedians like Tom Cashman (@tom.cashman, 158,000), Jeremy Franco (@jezbreezy, 274,000) and Lizzy Hoo (@lizzyhoo 23,800) even have giant followings.

Whereas it does appear that TikTok favours the comedic, the shortage of transparency round its algorithm makes it arduous to inform what elements are essentially the most impactful. The algorithm has been criticised by customers and creators alike – in 2020, black content material creators referred to as out the app for its “racial bias”, which noticed movies with #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd hashtags obtain zero views, which TikTok later apologised for.

Swag on the Beat say that regardless of many makes an attempt to recreate viral content material they nonetheless haven’t fairly discovered the algorithm.

“Typically you assume you’ve acquired it down. And also you’re like, ‘It will go effectively’, after which it simply sideswipes you,” says Gibbons.

It’s arduous to gauge what number of comedians are even on the app, and the way broad their enchantment is. TikTok is infamous for its lack of information transparency. TikTok declined to supply The Age with data on the platform’s top-performing movies and the place comedians rank amongst that.

Nevertheless, Felicity McVay, the director of content material and partnerships for TikTok Australia and New Zealand, says comedians are integral to the app.

“TikTok doesn’t share person knowledge, nonetheless, the worldwide group loves the uplifting and joyful content material on the platform,” McVay says.

“Leisure is on the coronary heart of TikTok’s platform and comedians are a giant a part of this.”

TikTok just lately performed a livestream in partnership with the Sydney Comedy Pageant, showcasing units from established and upcoming comedians.

Melbourne-based comedian and TikTok character Aurelia St Clair featured on the same livestream with the Melbourne Comedy Pageant in 2021, and carried out on the competition earlier this 12 months.

Comedian Aurelia St Clair makes videos on TikTok.

Comic Aurelia St Clair makes movies on TikTok.

Regardless of amassing a whole bunch of 1000’s of views on her movies reviewing well-known Australian suburbs, like Bondi and Brunswick, St Clair doesn’t contemplate herself a TikTok comic.

“There are individuals who solely do TikTok. For me, it’s all the time been in regards to the stage, TikTok simply took place.

“I’ve handed out flyers in entrance of Melbourne City Corridor on the comedy competition yearly pre-pandemic. My first two years as a comic I’d be at open mic comedy gigs and work arduous to carry out for actually small crowds.”


Pageant director for Melbourne Worldwide Comedy Pageant, Susan Provan, says the competition does scout expertise from social media, but it surely’s not assured to e-book a present.

“Each performer who has began out with social media content material wants time to develop the fabric and efficiency abilities for reside efficiency. Not everybody who excels at a fast joke for the web can maintain a crowd in a room for an hour. Then again, not each nice reside performer is a pure at creating participating digital content material,” she says.

It’s true that on-line success doesn’t all the time translate to “conventional” success at comedy festivals however, contemplating the place audiences are, does that matter? TikTok is the place comedians like Swag on the Beat have discovered their viewers, monetary alternatives and careers. In their very own phrases: “You gotta observe the place the eyeballs are.”

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