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
Monday 20 December 1999
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.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia