Writing Comedy For The Internet
To Be Paid or To Not Be paid...
True or not, every aspiring comedy writer believes they hold enough comedic gold in their mental hilarity bank to mint their own weight in actual coinage. It's not always the case, however. Some wouldn't even be funny if they were stapled to a clown.
Regardless of ability there are numerous sites that will give just about anybody a shot at establishing their claim to comedy's elite...uh...throne, so to speak. Some even pay you for it!
Unfortunately, forking over good money to figure out the talent level of untested writers is a bridge too far for most sites. They're stingy that way. Most want a "seasoned" comedy writer, meaning: an established history of being funny AND delivering on time. A lot of those paying sites have a thing about deadlines. Who knew?
So, in the spirit of fairness, equality and all round good nature, I'll tell you about both.
Funny or Die
Funny or Die, billed as SNL for the web surfing set, was created, most notably, by Will Farrell and is free for any aspiring comedy writer to test the surly waters of what is and is not funny, without out the cold, empty feeling of rejection it so often imparts.
No wait, Funny or Die lets you feel the last part. Totally.
Funny or Die doesn't pay it's contributors. It is however a great place to commune with the spirit of comedy...or something like that. It allows you to directly see what an audience does and doesn't find funny. How? They vote for it.
There's no greater tool to realize whether you're Scrooge McDuck sized funny money bin is filled with comedy gold or those awful, dry chocolate gold coins no one wants. They're so gross when they get old. Blech.
Funny or Die is a great way to hone your comedic voice and find the edges of acceptability. Those edges blur and shift all the time, with Funny or Die and it's brutal vote system, you can find where the hilarity ends and awkward silences begin.
- Comedy Rants — Where Ranters Rule
Where Ranters Rule
Comedy Rants, a funny little site with TONS of potential, is a place where a comedy writer can try new things. Being especially geared toward ranty, diatribe like comedy articles, it tends to venture off the grid even for that. It's a hotbed of comedic upstarting and boasts a great and helpful community of sketch comedy writers, video producers, article writers and stand up comedians.
Being that it's on the rise, it's quite easy to get involved and collaborate with other funny wannabes. Though, it doesn't pay for content...yet. It's still an invaluable resource for support, ideas and possible projects.
The McSweeney's site is a comedy site for the high brow set. A majority of it's content consists of lists and short form articles. McSweeney's is a site that is regularly mined by notable comedy sites for contributing writers. One such site that regularly cops writers from it is Cracked.com
Being a regular contributor to McSweeney's can lead to many a paying gig. It also allows up and coming comedy writers to rub shoulders among the ranks of celebrity contributors, if you're into the name dropping game. As of this writing Jesse Eisenberg, of "The Social Network", is a regular contributor.
It's contents being read by so many comedy writing scouts has lead to paid columns on other sites, case in point, Wayne Gladstone of Cracked.com got his start there.
Though it too is not a paying site, it's well worth contributing to to elevate your name in the internet comedy writing world.
The submission criteria is pretty straight forward and is a funny read as well.
Funny Not Slutty
Funny Not Slutty is primarily geared toward women and their funny not slutty ways, Funny Not Slutty is a site worth trying out and well worth submitting to. Despite not being a site that pays for it's content, it's a fantastic starting point for any would be comedy writer. Though, being a human being of the male persuasion, submitting may be hard, it's still a great site to get in contact with fellow comedy writers. A lot of which are very open to collaboration and ideas. A good portion of the site's denizens are also performing comedians and comedy troupes, so, content is always welcomed and needed.
A Sample of what makes it onto Funny Not Slutty.Com
Sites That Pay For Funny
For every site that is willing to take a chance on whether you're funny or not, there are less than a handful of sites that will pay for it. These sites demand quality, as handing money out to untested writers isn't as fashionable or profitable as we'd like it to be. However, these sites are a great place to cultivate and polish your laughably emaciated experience.
Cracked started as a print magazine in competition for the worlds money for funny with none other than MAD Magazine, the hilarious periodical, of course, not actual insanity.
Now, given modern times and the increased focus of the Internet as entertainment fuel, Cracked, having long ago shed it's printed format, has established itself as one of the eminent sites for fact based list comedy. That's right, facts, they're not just for falling asleep anymore.
Cracked derives it's content through continuous culling and refinement of it's proposed content in it's writer forum, which anyone remotely interested in writing for Cracked and join. Regardless of whether any pieces are actually bought, it's forum alone is worth giving Cracked a look.
It's editors actively participate in the betterment of anyone's writing that is part of its community. All of it's written and sometimes video produced content is honed among a community of editorial and would be editorial comedy writers. It sounds like an awful place to be brow beaten and ridiculed, but, the community is actually very supportive and helpful.
Basically, a writer can propose a piece and is required to write it in a particular format. If the content makes it through the rigorous vetting process, it is then accepted and the writer paid to write it up.
It's a great site to get started in the field of Internet comedy writing.
A Cracked Comedy Sample at its finest
College Humor is another comedy site geared toward a younger, obviously college aged or people desperately trying to hold onto their college age demographic. It's content is heavily video based yet, there is a small written contingent that the site will pay to fill. It's a little harder to squeeze money from, but, once the glass door or ceiling is broken, the sky is the limit, so to speak. So, if you feel like you can fully deliver on written content about dick and fart situations, this is the site for you. Give it a whirl and you might be surprised at how lucrative it can be!
A CollegeHumor.com Comedy Sample, in the spirit of Batman VS. Superman
The Wrap Up
This is by no means a complete list, of course. The Internet is a constantly growing, constantly feeding array of despondent pop culture nerds and narcissistic selfie taking weirdos. All of those and many other kinds of people need funny content. Your funny content. So, there is in all logical probability a slew of sites that were missed and should be added. This is a great list to start with, however. Still, as more sites are added and expanded in this great and terrifying Internet, they will assuredly be added. Please comment below with any that could and should be.