New Black Comedians don’t really have a space where they can show their talents to the world on a large scale like they did back in the Def Comedy Jam days for example. TV now seems to be a distant place for them, their homes now seem to lie on the digital stage: social media, YouTube, Netflix and various other streaming platforms are really the only places for comedians now; other than live stand up gigs of course. Netflix is great for comedy, these days Netflix is producing various comedy specials of your favourite comedians, however it doesn’t really offer anything new. The specials might be new additions to a legends catalogue, but it’s the same faces that have always been, albeit a little aged, which is great but it’s not really giving much of a chance for the newer generation.
If you’re looking for new comedians then your main destination would be YouTube. YouTube has done so great as a platform because it’s all about the creator. You’re in charge of your channel, and pretty much as long as you’re funny you’ll slowly build up a fan base, however that could take a long time. That’s where these black owned YouTube Networks come in. What Russell Simmons and Kevin Hart have done on their YouTube Networks is created a space for young talent to come get paid for work, whilst placing themselves in the spotlight. These networks have hundreds of thousands of followers or even millions, and help a young comedian’s fan base grow exponentially. The number of comedians I’ve found and become fans of just through seeing them on these Networks is crazy. I feel the model they’ve set on their networks, and the success they’ve gotten should be a wakeup call for there to be more networks of this kind; it could get to a point where we don’t need any other platforms and networks simply because we’ve created our own. Content made by us, for us and that doesn’t need to be approved by anyone but us. Down below I’ve listed some examples of the content you can find on these networks and channels. If they don’t want us on their networks anymore then fine, we’ll create our own platforms.
All Def Digital