Hi-Tech Comedy: Dan Levy

LevyAPToday I’m interviewing Dan Levy. Dan‘s had a half-hour special “Comedy Central Presents: Dan Levy“ and a MTV produced a TV pilot based on Dan‘s 10-part weekly web series, “My Long Distance Relationship“ which first ran on Sony‘s Crackle.com. Dan also produced and starred in the popular collegehumor.com series “The I Have To Go In a Minute Show with Super Host Dan Levy.“ He has been seen in The Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, Aspen Comedy Festival, Comedy Central‘s “Premium Blend“, “The Late, Late, Show,“ and is a regular round table guest on Chelsea Lately. Dan will be recording an album for Comedy Central Records during shows on October 1st & 2nd in Denver at Comedy Works Downtown (get tickets) and has just joined the cast of HBO’s upcoming comedy series “Enlightened.”

1. How are you using the internet / social media to promote your career?

I use Twitter and Facebook to ramble and update things I think are funny as well as tell people where my shows are. But as far as new media goes… I’ve done a lot within the webisode world. I did a series for College Humor and a show for Sony “Crackle” which I then sold. I’m  also doing my second series of shorts  comedy central’s for atom TV.  I’m using digital media to incubate some of my ideas and then have them become TV shows or movies.

2. Have you noticed the payoff yet?

My following is growing from twitter and online videos. When I did “The I Have To Go In One Minute Show,” we did a show every day for eight weeks. That was great, because it built a mini-following and now I headlined the College Humor Live tour.  And the Crackle web series became a TV pilot, which didn’t get picked up, but I am writing another TV pilot for MTV now that came off the digital web series.

3. What do you think about posting videos of your live stand up online?

I don’t like to post recent videos, I’ll post my Comedy Central Presents or when I’m me on TV.  But I don’t think it’s a good idea to post jokes from live shows  because if everyone sees it online, it spoils it when they get to see you live and they’re like “write some new jokes!!!!”

4. Do you think the internet is better suited for sketch comedy than for stand up videos?

I think sketch comedy and shorts are perfect for the internet. I think short stand up clips also work well but sketches are better for this media. Sketches can go viral but it’s rare for a stand up clip to go viral. I did a show at UCB for College Humor where I have this ongoing feud with Dan Levy (a host on MTV-Canada) and that went viral which was great, but I think the internet is more fitted for shorts, parodies, interviews, and of course porn.

5. How do you think digital tools will change comedy?

I don’t think it will change comedy, I think it’s been able to help progress careers. It’s also one of those things where the cream always rises to the top. As digital becomes more popular, what ends up happening is people make videos. The perfect example is Bo Burnham, he’s hilarious and he posted funny videos when he was  in high school and now he’s playing theatres, whereas before the internet, that couldn’t have happened because the exposure wasn’t there.  A lot of people make videos, but if they’re not good, nobody cares. Just ask my mom Linda.

6. How much information do you tend to share on the social networks?

I post whatever, I don’t hold back. I twitter jokes and stuff about my life. But I have never showed my dick online. . . Yet.

7. What’s your weirdest online experience involving your comedy career?

I’ve gotten some weird emails. The weirdest thing one was a hate mail (email) that was supposed to  be sent to Dan Levy the MTV Canada host.  Because apparently he called Kristin Stewart a bitch  (from Twighlight)  so I got an email from some person with the subject line of “fuck you asshole, we love vampires”. That was very confusing…but very hilarious.

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