Hello Humorism readers: I am about to ask you to spend money on this newsletter. If you already spend money on it or have no interest in spending money on it, please disregard. If you're somewhere in between, here are a few paragraphs for you.
A Humorism subscription costs $6/month or $60/year. It's true—for six bucks a month you could subscribe to entire publications that post more than a few articles each week. The thing is, and I say this with a mixture of pride and utter frustration, none of those publications cover what Humorism covers.
No one else is covering the comedy industry's reckless apathy toward the pandemic. No one else is covering the amorality and corruption of venue owners. No one else is covering the way comedians and comedy spaces protect abusers. No one else is covering the growing movement to make comedy racist again. No one else is covering the genuine far-right extremists using comedy to spread their ideologies and build political power. No one else seemed to notice that the Proud Boys were created in the New York comedy scene. Until last summer, no one else seemed terribly concerned about how comedy spaces treat their workers (one exception is Rachael Healy in the UK; follow her). Even today, no one else seems to care about the long history of abuse and toxicity at Saturday Night Live. Hell, no one else did a single followup story on the Horatio Sanz lawsuit. What gives?
However you crunch the numbers, I think six bucks is a lot cheaper than the cost of that coverage not existing in the world. Your subscription will also earn you occasional subscriber-only posts, which are typically deeper dives into various topics of interest or more personal ruminations on the news of the week. Here are a few I've unlocked for your perusal:
"It's not easy being a man right now," on comedians' reactions to the Chris D'Elia allegations;
"Comedian Laughs Count," on the twisted mid-pandemic effort to frame comedy's reopening as a public good;
"It’s not fun for people to hate you," on the bizarre cancel culture commentary in Showtime's documentary on the Comedy Store;
On Fealty, on what that documentary revealed about the Comedy Store's culture;
Know Thy Enemy, on the costs of the lack of class consciousness in comedy.
More importantly, your subscription will support Humorism's free content, which I couldn't produce without paying subscribers. To state the obvious, reporting and writing take a lot of time. The more people chip in, the more freedom I have to turn down the non-journalism gigs that currently take up about half my week, and the more time I can devote to this newsletter—especially to the longform pieces I know some of you have been missing.
I assume that if you read this newsletter, you love comedy. I do too. I write Humorism because my love for comedy compels me to seek out a deeper understanding of everything wrong with comedy—the people it hurts and exploits, the hatred it spreads, the damage it does to its own and to the world it's a part of. I'm grateful to everyone who's subscribed, whether for six bucks or no bucks, over the last 16ish months I've been doing this in earnest. I hope to keep making it worth your while.
Okay, that's all for today. Keep your eyes out for some exciting pieces on two new cooperatively owned improv theaters and a new graphic novel about standup comedy. Thanks as always for reading.
Stay safe out there,
PS. Sorry to lure you in with a photo of my dog as a puppy. Here he is more recently: