Raise your hand if you think Daniel Tosh — the comedian who makes fun of YouTube videos on his ridiculously popular Comedy Central show, “Tosh.0” — has the best job in the world. Now, we know that’s probably most of you. But Comedy Central has made it official — research commissioned by the network to discover how valuable comedy has become to millennials finds humor rates higher than music, personal style or sports.
Eighty-eight percent of the young men who participated in the Comedy Central survey “said their sense of humor was crucial to their self-definition,” according to a New York Times story on the research findings. An additional 74 percent said “funny people are more popular,” according to the article, and 58 percent said “they sent out funny videos to make what might be called a special impression on someone else.”
The study was launched to gain insight into the most coveted demographic in television: men between the ages of 18 and 34, who remain the most elusive to advertisers. Participants were millennials — more specifically young men — who were gathered into “buddy groups” in 19 cities around the country. (Women “were included in wider statistical research,” the article says, but excluded from this study because the Comedy Central audience “skews 65 percent male.”) They were fed pizza and asked “to do things like share funny videos, discuss favorite comics, and draw representations of themselves doing funny things,” the article says.
Findings show that guys want their comedy as quickly as Facebook loads, and want their video links to feature less cynicism. From the Times article:
“The channel got back a lot of toilet humor (on a map, the participants marked the 19 cities in the survey with toilet bowls), but also plenty of useful information.
For example, as described by [Tanya Giles, the executive vice president for research at Comedy Central’s parent, MTV Networks]: 'Millennials are comfortable with uncomfortable truths,' which she said meant they see just about any subject as fit for humor. They also want comedy with a faster pace. 'If you don’t get them quick, they can find it somewhere else,' she said.
Chanon Cook, the top research executive for Comedy Central, said the results also indicated that 'irony has been replaced by absurdity.' That is one of many ways she said this generation had separated itself from Generation X, a more dour and cynical group in the Comedy Central analysis, shaped by things like battles over race and class, and growing up as latchkey kids.
Ms. Ganeless said one purpose of the research was 'to understand how our audience and technology cross over, so we can be prepared.'"
And while a Comedy Central survey would naturally seem to slant pro-comedy, the research results, the article says, were echoed in an online survey of 2,000 people conducted by Nielsen Entertainment Television.