NFT is a Joke - How NFTs Can be Used for Stand-up Comedy

This post explores ideas on how to use NFTs for stand-up comedy.

NFT of Michael Makarov doing stand-up and holding a microphone.
NFT of Michael Makarov doing stand-up and holding a microphone. The image designed by Vasily Myazin.

Everyone is talking about NFTs these days, but it seems that they mostly apply to visual art. If you look at Open Sea , it's all pictures of pixelated faces or awkward looking monkeys.

Smiley Do you own any NFTs right now?

❝ NFT of a joke is a great merch. ❞

Kaiser Leib, CTO of a start-up.

Maybe you're a stand-up comedian, or a stand-up fan, or you watched Elon Musk's comedy special and you might be wondering how NFTs can be applied to the world of stand-up comedy?

Stand-up comedy is a form of art as well, where the comedians work hard for weeks / years to write, test-perform, and polish their material. Don't they also have a right to yell “HODL”, drive convertibles, and smoke pot in a Miami mansion?

This post brings some ideas on how stand-up comedy can be NFT'd. How the stand-up comics can leverage this new magical hyped technology, pipe their craft through it, get incentivised to generate more fun material for our amusement, and get millions of dollars and be cool again.

First of all, what are NFTs (Non Fun-gible tokens) ? You probably already know. It's some magic that you apply to information to cryptographically capture its footprint and have a record of ownership. It's a neat nerdy idea to prove that you own it. Mostly a buzzword that makes people believe it's worth paying a lot of money for something online.

Let's make a simple breakdown of stand-up comedy. Stand-up comedy is a chain of jokes expressed verbally and non verbally by a performer in front of an audience that somehow affects your mind and causes laughter and euphoria(=buckets of joy). Jokes are unique short ideas and observations that are base elements/bricks of stand-up comedy. Make sense? Well, this explanation is no less obscure than our understanding of NFTs, but maybe that's a good thing…

Hence there's a few ideas on how we can extract NFTs from stand-up comedy.

A video of a joke

A single joke is NFT'd as a video. This way it can be captured being performed in a specific location, on a specific day. You can buy this joke, and it'll be yours! For example, I extracted a video NFT of my joke - how hard it is to be Russian - performed in the lost church in San Francisco on April 30, 2019 (Pre-pandemic). This joke is also featured on my website. Well, if you own it, you can watch it 1000s times and then resell it.

A screenshot of a joke

A screenshot of a joke is NFT'd This can extract the idea of a joke, along with the non verbal facial expression of the performer.

Pixelated face

That's just hot, it pretends you're in a 1970s game. I've created a few collectable items for 0.1E, please get one before they worth millions.

A visual poster for a show

This can be a collectable item. A poster of a specific show NFT'd. For this example, (open sea link) I NFT'd a poster of my show, Comedy VS Nerds that was in San Francisco..

A video of bombing

Just imagine, what if a comedian could sell an awkward moment of them telling a joke and the audience with no laughs. Would it make you feel better about yourself?

Why is owning a joke cool? If you own a joke, (other than the knock knock joke), but an original joke, that you can own the joke. In the future the joke or the performer can get popular, you will be the owner of a historic artifact that you can sell for more, or make it a collectable item in your library of your favorite jokes. Or if you're a comedian, you can trademark your joke by NFTing it.

Who can benefit from stand-up comedy being NFT'd?

  • Stand-up comedians
  • The fans who can own the digitized pieces of stand-up comedy
  • Platforms like open sea who make lots of money on the transactions.

If you're a comedian, this is why you should be investing your time into NFTs and thinking about digitizing your stand-up right now.

  • In the future, comedy and NFTs will be the only things that matter, while robots and AI will do all the boring work for us. Quit your job and become a famous comedian NOW.
  • Comedians can make loads of money with NFTs, buy a condo in a Miami highrise, and a Chevy Corvette.
  • Comedians should start digitizing their craft ASAP so AI can have some sample data to learn from and replace the comedians. That wayI don't have to pay a lot of money for the comics' expensive NFTs and just generate them for free.

Shout out to my stand-up comedy FOMO that pushed me really hard to write this post. These ideas are just scratching the surface of how Stand-up comedy can be NFT'd. Please share your ideas with me, @micmakarov on twitter, or just follow me. Please buy all my NFTs for a lot of cash. Credit to Vasily Myazin for designing the awesome NFT artwork.

About the author

Michael Makarov is an NYC-based comic and a software engineer. He started his standup journey in 2014 in San Francisco, he sold out his first show in 30 minutes when the link made the top of Hacker News. Russian immigrant, he also speaks fluent Japanese and enough chinese to order food at restaurants. He runs Comedy vs. Nerds and Comedy Conspiracy, a standup comedy show about the internet. Other articles: 7x7 article