YouTube has called in a host of comedy stars to perform for its first Comedy Week, a seven-day event filled with standup acts and sketches designed to make you laugh — and to pay attention to YouTube's growing base of original programming. The Associated Press reports that YouTube has gathered performances from comedians including Michael Cera, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, and the groups Tim & Eric and The Lonely Island. The event will run from May 19th through May 25th and will be the first of many themed weeks that the company plans to host.
Comedy Week will have a "Woodstock type of vibe"
Comedy Week will consist of live streams, new programming from popular channels, and curated playlists, all designed to showcase YouTube's content. A producer for the event described the week to the AP as having both a high production value and a "Woodstock type of vibe," and he even expects that a few missteps along the way will add to its casual style.
For YouTube, the test is whether it will be able to persuade viewers to keep heading back to the content from its site and most popular channels instead of returning to Netflix or Hulu. And YouTube isn't the only company trying to take over humor on the web: Comedy Central began a comedy festival on Twitter earlier this week, and it plans to release a free smartphone app that's dedicated to standup. YouTube's event may have some big names behind it, but as Amazon proved when it debuted its Prime pilots last week, big names don't always mean good content.