There is something about 140 characters that specifically attracts the comedian and people who want to turn their clever quips that they think are so funny to their friends and co-workers all to the social networking/micro-blogging site Twitter. Whether it be coming up with quick zingers, observing minutia, gleaning the absurdities of your own psyche, or simply promoting yourself, Twitter has almost become a necessary tool for those in the business of being funny.
As this is the unfortunate necessity, the following is the beginning in yet another continuing series on the Comedy Bureau of a crash course guide of sorts to Twitter for the comedian brand new to Twitter, so they can both navigate and understand the terse nature that borders on being an entirely separate language fostered in Twitter land.
As the device that drives the almost certifiable addiction that is Twitter, tweeting will seem inconsequential to you, at first, until someone brings it up in conversation, “Hey, that was a really funny tweet that you had,” which will cause you to tweet more and subsequently get more followers. However, you’ll probably end up going on some type of tweeting bend after seeing a promo on the side of a bus for some show perhaps called, “Episodes”, and then lose a significant portion of the 200 followers that you had because they were just robots anyway.
My advice, thusly, would be simply to be consistent (i.e. have a style/tweet jokes/promote yourself/don’t tweet at all) on Twitter and don’t overcrowd people’s feeds with more than 7-10 tweets-a-day. For the most part, the funniest people on Twitter seem to stick to those basic principles. ex. Jamie Lee (@thejamielee), Matt Knudsen (@matt_knudsen), Lizzy Cooperman (@lizzycooperman), and Jim Hamilton (@jim_hamilton).
Of course, there are exceptions to this; one of them being the one and only Eddie Pepitone (@eddiepepitone), who is so consistent and uproarious with everything that he tweets that I don’t mind that his constant updates of his “to do list”-1) Tamper with brakes on Al’s car so they fail on highway. 2) get wigs and cyanide ready. 3) make Tofu. Having just been nominated as one of the best comedians on Twitter by Punchline Magazine, He can get away with tweeting non-stop.
Another frequent phenomenon that has become popular amongst comedians is the advent of “live tweeting”, which is, in essence, a play-by-play commentary on any event in real time via Twitter. The best example of this came this past Christmas Eve when Paul F Tompkins (@pftompkins) live tweeted throughout the entire duration of the Pope’s televised Midnight Mass and subsequently got himself trending in the Greater Los Angeles area. Live tweeting can almost be compared to an extended bit of comedic material focused mostly on punchlines.
Again, those two examples both rely on consistency, as opposed to someone having 10 tweets about how they’re mad how the Lakers lost, then 5 more trying to figure out what exactly a “norror movie” (#norrormovies) is, then 25 more tweets spent in a “fight” with someone that you could call because you have their phone number, but choose not to because of the comfortably think anonymity of the Internet. Still, all of those tangents I just mentioned are actually quite entertaining, but just incredibly annoying to read all from the same person in the same day, often times within the span of 3 hours.
So, in conclusion, in regards to tweeting, pick your poison (as you’ll get addicted to it) and stick with it.
THE COMEDY BUREAU/@thecomedybureau