INFLUENCER: SALT.TV director Nick Collett on why you should be hiring funny people to make funny stuff
Making comedy is so damn hard. It’s one of the reasons I love doing it. Part of the difficulty comes from how easy it is to measure your success. The barometer is incredibly simple. If your audience laugh: You’ve succeeded. If they don’t: YOU FAILED.
But when you do succeed, everyone wins. I mean, who doesn’t like laughing?
Showing my work to people is either instantly gratifying or straight-up soul-crushing. When something I’ve made makes someone laugh, I actually get a rush - a physical rush. And however humble I wish I could be, I will probably laugh too. It baffles me but it’s not just my brain that responds to people’s laughter, my body does too.
Of course, like any other insecure human being, I remember the moments that missed their mark the most; sitting in edit suites that are silent except for the sound of your client or commissioner crunching their way through the free biscuits. Then even more painful is the fake laugh, the sympathy laugh - so instantly identifiable and even more harrowing than silence. Laughter is an involuntary action. You can’t fake it. It’s like sneezing or yawning.
And that’s exactly why we should be making more of it. Comedy has HONESTY and INTEGRITY. Now I’m not for a second suggesting that advertising lacks honesty and integrity but hey, you can’t have too much of a good thing right?
The world is a sorry looking place right now. There’s so much healing to be done. Laughter needs to be a part of that process. And we, as creators should be harnessing its power. A common misconception is that comedy is frivolous. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Laughter can be a weapon. When we laugh at authority we belittle it, we take it down, we laugh it out of town. Let’s use it.
Laughter is healing - it unites people. Human beings hand over their hard-earned cash to go and sit in rooms and stadiums so they can laugh in unison - because it feels good to laugh with other people. So laughter creates social bonds. People even specify it in their dating profiles - “GSOH essential!”. People want partners who make them laugh.
And that’s not surprising because laughter is good for you! Laughter releases endorphins and burns calories. Laughter makes your body increase the production of antibodies and T-cells – it strengthens your immune system.
So while they’re still trying to figure out a Covid-19 vaccine we as creators should also do our part to try and keep people healthy - We should all be making more comedy. And if you’re an agency or client looking for a way forward right now, you should seriously consider paying people like me to make more of it.
Photo credit: Jonnie Malachi