A comedy festival in 140 characters and 6 seconds: Comedy Central launches #ComedyFest

Shannon Mullen Apr 22, 2013

A comedy festival in 140 characters and 6 seconds: Comedy Central launches #ComedyFest

Shannon Mullen Apr 22, 2013

When Twitter first went live, some people wondered if anyone would want to communicate in 140 characters or less. We all know how that worked out.

A half a billion users later, Twitter’s got a new challenge for us: Try to tell a joke in under six seconds.

Twitter’s teaming up with one of the biggest brands in comedy to launch an online comedy festival. As if it’s not hard enough to be funny when you’ve got a whole stand-up routine, next week Comedy Central’s comedians will spend five days telling jokes in tweets and super-short videos made with Twitter’s new Vine app.

“Thankfully I’m not the one who has to make the jokes,” says Walter Levitt, executive vice president of marketing for Comedy Central.

Twitter really has over last couple of years become terrific social platform for comedians and for comedy, and it just seemed like an absolute logical place for us to try something new and innovative,” Levitt says.

For Twitter, it’s not about making media, but giving partners a place to put theirs, and attracting the built-in fan base. The company bought Vine last fall and just launched a music discovery app.

“Twitter has rolled out a strategy of expanding beyond 140 characters,” says Richard Greenfield, a media analyst for BTIG Research. “High-quality content from brands like Comedy Central is a great way to introduce new people who’ve not tried Twitter to use it.”

From a cost perspective, the content will come cheap for both Twitter and Comedy Central.

“Compared to producing a full television show, Comedy Central doesn’t have to invest that much resources in it, in order to see, will this work,” says media analyst Zachary Reiss Davis with Forrester Research.

So will six-second comedy fly with the fans? That’s one job we’re happy to leave to the pros.

How funny can you be in six seconds? You’re about to find out.

Next week, comedians will post video snippets of routines using Vine, Twitter’s six-second video maker, as well as tweets using the hashtag #ComedyFest.

Of course, crafting funny videos on Vine — just as with tweeting — is no easy task. There’s a level of creativity involved. We’ve gathered five Vine videos to show you just how fun six seconds can really be.

Anyone who can pretend to fly on a broom gets an A+ for creativity:




It’s like a six-second story:




Anyone craving caffeine can understand this video:




Capturing the mundane. How many people walk through a plane everyday?




This one made us laugh:




Have a favorite belly-laugh inducing tweet or video? Share it with us in the comments.

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