Okay, let me guess — you woke up this morning wondering, “What new and innovative ways can I goof off on the internet while at work today so as to avoid doing any actual, you know, work?” Well I’ve got just the thing for ya!
Pandora, that amazing little godsend which allows us to listen to our favorite bands and musicians and discover other artists who create music similar to theirs, yesterday launched Pandora Comedy. I gave it a whirl personally this morning and HOLY CRAP is it fun.
Reports the New York Times:
On Wednesday Pandora will add 10,000 clips by more than 700 comedians to its archive, and allow users to sort through them in the same way they do the site’s music: by picking a starting place — a comedian, type of comedy or even a specific joke — and then letting Pandora send a stream of similar material chosen by analyzing his or her taste.
“This is a logical step under the umbrella of personalized radio,” said Tim Westergren, the founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora Media, the company behind the service.
The comedy offerings stretch back to the days of Will Rogers and W. C. Fields, and include most of the greats, past and present: Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, and Cheech & Chong. For more specialized tastes, there are routines by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Minnie Pearl and Yakov Smirnoff.
As with music, Pandora has developed a system to predict what its listeners will like. With the help of professional comedians, the company identified more than 100 traits common in jokes, from basic themes (ethnicity, family) and styles of delivery (dry, self-deprecating) to broader categorizations of how comedians toy with logic and language (spoonerisms, juxtaposition, misdirection).
Put together, these traits make a “genomic” composite of a joke or routine, and can be strung together to follow unexpected themes. For example, a listener who begins with Chris Rock may end up listening to Bill Hicks because of his similar “male perspectives, subject explorations, sarcastic delivery and slow delivery,” as the service explains.
So I can now listen to clips of Yakov Smirnoff doing his stand-up act on demand?!?! Holy sh*t is life in the 21st century great, or what?!
I can just see myself getting into a heated discussion one of these days with a young — probably while riding a bus or something — who throws a tantrum over not being able to find his or her favorite comedian via the Pandora app on their iPhone. The whole exchange will probably go something like this…
“You know, when I was your age, I used to have to wait for comedy specials to air late at night on HBO or Comedy Central in order to hear my favorite comedian perform.”
“STFU old man!”
These gosh-darn kids today have no idea how easy they have it!
(Pic via LouisCK.com)