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Comedian Jon Lovitz on how funny people can make money online

Entrepreneur interview by Bambi Francisco Roizen
June 10, 2008
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/28b

(Correction: This corrects an earlier newsletter headline that misspelled Jon's name.)

"In the old days, you'd do the comedy club for 10 years, and if you got good enough you went to the Tonight Show," said Jon Lovitz, actor and comedian who's best known as being a cast member of Saturday Night Live between 1985 to 1990.  

If Johnny Carson gave a comedian the thumbs up, he'd have a career, Jon tells me in this interview. Now comedians have emerged online. Russell Peters is one example. He's so famous, he can sell out arenas, said Jon, who was at the OnHollywood conference this week. If you know his skits as the pathological liar, you can probably here him saying, "New media, yeah, that's the ticket." 

Earlier today, John was on stage interviewing Jamie Masada, founder and CEO of The Laugh Factory talking about comedy and how the Internet is changing the economics for comedians.

In this interview, Jon said that comedians can make more money these days because the Web gives them a platform to directly sell to their fans. "It's like free advertising because you can tell people where you are and sell merchandise or ringtones," he said. 

While John says he only clued into the Internet a couple of years ago, he already has 62,000 friends on MySpace. He says in a very self-deprecating manner that it'll take him 40 years to catch up to Dane Cook with 2.5 million friends on MySpace. Dane is a "master" at leveraging the Web, said Jon.

"I'm behind the times," he admitted.

"You are? Do you know about Twitter and FriendFeed? I asked. "Twitter and What?" he responded.

Jon also talks about his thoughts on comedic sites, like Funnyordie and what he's up to these days.