Network: My Technology: Logging on for laughs

Where can you go for good comedy? Griff Rhys Jones reveals how a theatre fundraising project inspired him to create a comedy magazine online

We decided in the process of raising money for Hackney Empire, to publish a comedy book, but were having trouble getting a distributor, and thought, why not put all our material on the Net? The book is now selling at WH Smith's, and the Not the Millennium website has helped set us off to do something like a British version of the US comedy site The Onion.

Currently, it's a commerce site that directly helps the Hackney Empire; you can buy tickets and merchandise, or donate money, or buy a "Knighthood to the Empire". We're selling tickets to the Not the Millennium concert, which is a spoof concert with big stars like Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney kindly agreeing not to perform.

The site is also updated fortnightly with comedy, and since it began we've added other writers.

We are thinking about the possibilities for a comic magazine specifically for the Internet. The Not the Millennium website is an experimental period to help kick off the magazine at the same time as fund-raise for the Hackney Empire.

We are looking at how people use entertainment during the day. My feeling is that over the next few years there will be more programmes broadcast on the Net, primarily because you can broadcast without a licence on the Internet. The Net is going to change a lot of the current ways of doing television.

We're working on a quick-fix entertainment because we think that daytime television never took off, as most people don't have the time to watch television during the day. Instead, people are working, and perhaps would like to find something amusing on a website, maybe a 30-second video.

I don't think that people want more and more choice - I think they want a guide. So we are saying that the site has all this stuff, as well as a favourite that you can quickly look up. We want to form an umbrella site for comedy writers and performers. People like to pick up individual things from the Internet and pass them around, and this will be a source.

I think digital technology will move along the lines of allowing you to choose when and what to watch. In a short while everything will be in one place - games, computer, Internet and TV. So what will change is how we present stuff on the Net: we'll no longer want to look at a lot of writing and we'll demand clearer pictures. Information will adapt to television rather than the other way round because we'll be using the Internet from the sofa.

It's interesting that comedy magazines have never really hit it off. Apart from Viz or Private Eye, there aren't many pure comedy magazines. But all our comedians are experienced with working on the Internet, and see the Net as potentially the future for a magazine format. Certainly as a production company, it's something we need to get involved with.

Of course it's difficult to tell because, we don't know. So we are trying to get in there, and get our foot in the door. But I realise that the Internet has already become crowded very quickly.

Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week