SDCC 2015: Jonah Ray says Alt. Comedy is no Longer Alt.


I was lucky enough to sit down with comedian and actor Jonah Ray at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con and talk about a whole host of interesting topics dealing with the modern comedy world. Jonah was in San Diego with Comedy Central promoting the latest season of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, a documentary-style comedy show that features stand-up comedians performing in a small intimate theater behind Meltdown Comics. It’s one of the best ways to not only watch some of the biggest comedians on stage, but also see what it’s like when they are in the green room interacting with fellow comedians.

While talking with Jonah I had mentioned the term “Alternative Comedy,” which has been a term typically used to describe comedy that is consciously not mainstream to that era. Alt. Comedy is also sort of seen as a comedian’s comedy. While most of the population thinks that Jeff Foxworthy is the funniest man in America, fans of Alt. Comedy are watching people like Doug Benson or Marc Maron. Being a long time fan of comedy shows considered alternative, I used the term in my question and Jonah stopped me. “To use the term Alt. comedy is a bit of a misnomer, I think, now because that’s just what comedy is now. Some of the biggest comedy is what would have been considered Alternative comedy.” He then elaborated a little further, “At a certain point is RadioHead still considered Alt. Rock? No, They are one of the biggest bands in the world now.”

Jonah credits the latest comedy boom on the recession and people looking for free entertainment. Comedians were on the first wave of shaping what is now the popular podcasting industry and even Twitter. I asked him how he felt seeing president Obama guest on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. “That’s a huge thing for podcasting and legitimizes the forum.. now more people will take it seriously as a media, as an art form.” Proving even further that Alt. is gone.. a comedian has pulled the President of the United States as a guest on a show he runs out of his garage. The comedy boom is alive and well today and happens to be more accessible than ever. If you still think Dane Cook is the funniest man in America, then I suggest you take a look at what the modern comedy scene looks like and starting with The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail.


Facebook Comments

About author

Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.