See that guy? That’s Richard Pryor.
He died in 2005, but thanks to the sheer quality (and praiseworthiness) of his stand-up comedy, which reigned supreme throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, he’s still relevant today. And not just because Paramount Network recently debuted an entry from its I Am… documentary series dedicated to his life and work (which I reviewed for Forbes). No, we’re still talking about Pryor because his comedy is still that good.
Also, there’s way too much goddamn stand-up comedy these days.
Most critics (myself included) blame Netflix for the most recent comedy boom, which began in the early 2010s and is still ongoing. But if you really want to stick to the person (or persons) responsible, then you might as well point your finger at Pryor. And George Carlin. And Robert Klein. And HBO. And Showtime. And Comedy Network (which initially began as The Comedy Channel, an HBO subsidiary, in 1989).
Hell, we should just blame every single stand-up comic, whether they’re alive or dead, for the fact that there’s just too much of the stuff these days. It’s streaming all over Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Seeso (RIP) and other outlets you’ve never heard of. It’s occupying older comedy clubs, newer performance venues and sizable theaters.
Also, let’s blame ourselves while we’re at it. It probably feels like way too much of this stuff is being thrust upon us (and it is), but we’re the ones who are watching the latest specials from Amy Schumer and Kevin Hart. We’re the ones who are turning out in droves at comedy clubs, theaters that seat thousands and even bigger venues to see our favorite comics perform (while discovering new ones along the way).
Hence this, the Too Much Comedy newsletter.
What is this?
It’s a newsletter about all things stand-up comedy. The comedians who perform it, the outlets that host them, the agents and promoters who get them hosted, the critics who appraise them, the people who watch them — everything (and more) will be covered here on a weekly basis.
Okay, but who are you?
My name is Andrew Husband.
“Husband,” as in “husband and wi…?”
Why should I care about what you have to say?
I’ve been working as a freelance entertainment journalist (with a few assorted full-time stints here and there; this industry is garbage) for a decade, and for the past few years, a lot of my work has focused on stand-up comedy. As a reporter and critic, I’ve covered breaking comedy news, interviewed comedians and other industry power players, reviewed specials and written commentary for a large swathe of places. Like Forbes, Uproxx, Vulture, Metro US, Den of Geek and more.
Okay, then tell us a joke…
That’s not how this works.
How often will you be doing this?
At least once a week.
Is it free?
For the time being, yes, but I will likely offer a paid subscription in the near future.
If you’re going to charge us, then what else have you got?
I’ve got puppy pictures. Her name is Molly and she’s going to be Too Much Comedy’s official mascot. And yes… you’re welcome.