We know it’s always inevitable. Or more accurately almost always inevitable. Given enough fame, attention, money and power almost everyone turns into kind of a dick.
I’ve made no secret of my love for Amy Shumer’s brand of comedy. I’ve been a fan of her standup for a long while and an even greater admirer of her Comedy Central show. Which I personally think is one of the best sketch comedy shows in a very long time.
But recently (at least in my view) she’s been going a bit Chappelle. Perhaps taking herself a little too seriously. I can certainly understand how all the pressure can get to a person. Hell we all deal with pressure every day and sometimes it feels like it’s going to squash us flat. But when you add fame, power and money (lots of money) pressure can turn into dickishness.
I still think she’s funny, but this most recent incident with the supposedly rude fan taking a selfie with her (and the stories of how it went down are in dispute) to me seems to be a turning point for one simple reason, and that was her statement regarding the incident.
I’m not going to go into detail here because a quick google search will bring up more than enough links for you to make your own decision, but I will say that when I hear a celebrity of Amy Shumer’s caliber and level say “I don’t owe my fans anything” it really does rub me the wrong way.
There are lots of incredibly talented people who wallow in obscurity. Some never find any recognition, some find niche recognition and others gain levels of fame and success to varying degrees.
No matter how successful or famous an artist is, it is their fan base that makes them, it propels them. In short a performer in fact owes their fans and owes them big.
Does this mean she needs to bend over backwards and take every selfie with a fan every time they want one? Of course not. But it isn’t just talent (which she has plenty of) that makes someone successful, it’s their fans, it’s the people who watch your show, read your books, listen to your music, buy tickets to your concerts. Without them you’d be the most brilliant performer at the local coffee house, while hoping you can still cover your rent with your job at the box store, restaurant, or Uber time.
It’s hard to say if what we’re witnessing is in fact the true nature of Amy Shumer that’s been hiding underneath this whole time or if this is a person who perhaps is a little too full of themselves and feeling more important in the scheme of the world than is warranted.
So, does Amy Shumer owe her fans absolutely everything? No, I don’t think so not everything. But does she in fact owe her fans nothing? Hell no, she owes and she owes big.
I hope the statement was partially made out of frustration and perhaps being pulled in a billion directions at once but if this is a sincere belief she holds, I think it could spell trouble for not only her fans but for herself as well.
You are only ever as successful as your fan base. Many centuries ago Dave Chappelle had what many would agree to be one of the best sketch comedy shows of all time. Not only was it funny, it was poignant, brilliant and boundary breaking.
Yes it was in great part due to Dave’s talents as well as his writers. But the main reason it was so big was because the fans kept coming back week after week.
Then Dave went nuts. He began to succumb to the pressure and blaming everyone around him while never taking responsibility himself for any of the things that happened. He began to see racism everywhere, he saw enemies everywhere and even to this day conspiracy theories abound as to what really happened.
Dave of course still does comedy and seems as brilliant as ever, however his fan base has mostly moved on and regaining them to the level he once was is most likely impossible.
He may not have owed his fans everything, but he owed them a great deal. When he walked away the fans moved on, the bulk of which will never come back.
I doubt the same thing will happen to Amy Schumer I doubt she’ll snap like Dave, and I for one certainly wouldn’t want to be under the pressures she’s under. However, if you piss off the fans, if you discount their innate power and cache you will end up the most powerful and popular entertainer people used to care about.
So does Amy owe her fans everything? No.
Does she owe them nothing? Hell No.
Does she owe them something more than comedy? Yes, she owes them the respect they deserve. Without the fans a comedian is just a person talking to his or herself.
I’m still gonna watch her show though, that shit is funny.
Well enough of that let’s get to the whoring.
Speaking of owing fans…this happened Yeah not only am I on the same list as Chuck Palahniuk on good reads for best transgressive fiction I’m tied with him for the number five slot. Okay sure he also takes up slots 1, 2 and 4 but hey my little pulp novel The Geek is tied with his amazing Burnt Tongues. That’s crazy.
You know that thing I was talking about earlier with the whole fan base thing? Yeah, I owe, I owe big time. So thank you to everyone who buys my novel and enjoys it and then votes for it on one of the listopia lists it’s on and/or leaves a review or rating. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And hey if you want to see the other lists it’s on or checkout the reviews and ratings head on over to my goodreads page. http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k
You can also check them out on amazon.com where you can also pick up my ebook collection of short stories http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6
Due to popular demand The Geek is also now available in paperback in both the UK and Canada through amazon, so again thanks fan base for the interest http://amzn.to/1NM5GUN
Over on podbean and iTunes there’s a new podcast up and available for streaming. This week the bro-host and I discuss our adventure to the heart of hipster territory and our encounter with the great mystery known as The Sphinx of Los Feliz http://bit.ly/1KOLDsH
My youtube channel is up and running and I’m beginning to post more every week. New video up today, then a new one Friday and of course every Sunday is Soda Pop Sunday where I taste test a different soda…oh and I’m posting a new sketch on Monday so check it out. http://bit.ly/1Sf9MXN
And hey why not follow me on twitter because…I have no good reason http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA
And the facebooking http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp
Well I’m off to try and do things that make me seem important and productive…maybe even relevant. Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s a losing battle.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and a fun weekend.