Have you heard the one about the app that makes you laugh all the time?
Comedy Central is expanding its considerable wealth of stand-up material by moving it onto a new platform. The CC: Stand-Up app launches on June 6, giving the approximately 10 million comedy podcasts currently available a run for their money in the mobile funny-business department. Now comedy connoisseurs can get a fix from their favorite stand-ups anytime, and also discover perhaps a new favorite.
"Stand-up is in our DNA—it’s been an important part of our brand since we launched in 1991," says Ben Hurst, vice president of mobile for Viacom. "We saw this as an opportunity to reimagine the way our audience consumes and discovers stand-up and new comics."
The extensive archive at Comedy Central features more than 6,000 videos from about 700 comedians. Even for the hardened comedy veteran who’s seen just about everything, there’s still an exhaustive number of jokes to wade through. Users can look through a host of featured clips from recent specials, but the app is much different than a deep dive into YouTube or even Comedy Central’s own stand-up website.
"For the lean-in experience, we take full advantage of the iPad and iPhone capabilities, offering the ability to discover new comedians through a groundbreaking tool we like to call the six degrees of stand-up," Hurst says. "It uses a recommendation algorithm that engages fans in a way unlike anything else available."
The "six degrees" feature presents users with five other comic sets to choose from, each similar to the video you’re watching in some way. A branch connects the current video to the others, and a dot in the middle explains why. Some of the recommended other comics have worked together before, like SNL alums John Mulaney and Hannibal Burress. Others share similar material in the featured clips, which is denoted with tags like "flying." Sometimes, the relationship between the two comics is more tenuous, such as they follow each other on Twitter. In any case, the selections offer a curated experience for comedy consumers of all tastes.
"Unlike other recommendation engines," Hurst says, "the CC: Stand-Up App is transparent about the reason for its suggestion. You can see those connections clearly in the app."
In addition to the "six degrees" feature, there are also playlists like "best one-liners," "dark humor," "podcasters," and many more. Have a look at how the app works in the slide show above, and download it here.