Pop culture’s past is growing faster than its present

From The Guardian:

Not everyone is buying into the theory of the kaleidoscoping of culture. Last year I curated a selection of the 20 best standups working today for a show called The Alternative Comedy Experience. It aims to be an alternative to the more straightforward fare of shows such as Live at the Apollo, and is. I went for a meeting with the channel’s marketing people, who had not watched any of the 12 episodes, but were principally, and understandably, concerned about how to sell this strange product to their target audience of 18- to 32-year-olds, whose loyalty to the channel encourages advertisers to fund it.

Identifying the youngest performers in the programme, marketing wondered if they could be profiled in info-outlets popular with 18- to 32-year-olds, their faces stamped on to hallucinogenic plant food tablets, or perhaps grafted on to the bodies of the stars of the pornographic films that all young people stream continuously to their mobile phones. When I was in a double act during the early 90s, when comedy was first the new rock’n’roll, our live audience was composed exclusively of children, which was a godsend, as the fact that their parents had to accompany them sometimes pushed our live crowds up into triple figures. Nonetheless I floated to marketing the idea that, in my more recent experience of comedy, the availability of clips of our show’s quality turns on YouTube meant their audiences needn’t, and didn’t, follow delineated demographic lines. And I suggested that younger people might not necessarily be looking to consume product manufactured by content providers of solely their own age group. But talk soon moved on to the show’s coruscating liberal satirist Paul Sinha’s appearance on the daytime quiz show The Chase, and whether this could be a way of getting our programme profiled in Puzzler magazine.

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