The First Comedian Website Vs. Comedy NFTs
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Rodney Dangerfield’s tie-tugging comic legend is supported by plenty of accomplishments.
He’s starred in some of the most beloved comedy movies of all time, such as Caddyshack and Back To School; his legendary comedy club Dangerfield’s, which closed in 2020 for reasons you can probably guess, was the venue that vaulted the careers of comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Sam Kinison and many more; he’s been nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Recording, of which his 1981 album “No Respect” won.
But another notable, but not widely-known achievement of our beloved, respect-lacking everyman was his foray into … cyberspace? Yep, in 1995, Dangerfield became the first comedian, at least of note, to launch his own website.
“I thought to myself, what’s the newest thing out today? And computers is it,” he said to Entertainment Magazine in 1995. It's a quote that instantly rattles in your skull like he's saying it, right?
Of course the man so famous for telling us how not special he was made the first special leap to the internet. At a time when few people understood the new-fangled interwebs, 73-year-old Dangerfield broke through.
The site is still active today, though it is of understandably much better quality than when it debuted. It continues to serve as a homebase for Dangerfield’s fans to learn about the man and his career as well as purchase merch, books, albums - but no red ties?
It’s like stumbling into a treasure trove of nostalgia and memories in your grandfather’s attic, an honest connection to the past by an entirely-self made man that changed entertainment by doing something that is now so ubiquitous, it’s expected that jackasses like myself have their own sites.
Which is why it’s weird to read about how comedy and the internet have 'evolved'.
Notably, the startup company Jambb, a digital marketplace for comedy NFT collectibles, received $3.5 million in seed funding. That’s about where everyone’s understanding of this Business Wire report ends. The same suits that comedy has punched up at for years are now apparently turning it into a tradeable asset.
When Jerry Seinfeld described jokes as “literal bars of gold,” he probably didn’t mean digital currency that can be sold and owned. And if that’s a misunderstanding of what Jambb’s business is then - not sorry - we’re now monetizing comedy in ways people don’t understand.
We’ve gone from Rodney Dangerfield’s first dive into the internet, to future “I can’t get no respect”-style-catchphrases changing hands as monetized, yet nebulous entities.
Rodney Dangerfield and his website endures on the internet because his legacy is real. It isn't some money machination of the moment ginned-up by Jambb-style greedheads.
Have some respect for yourself, or at a minimum, try and earn it - you know, like Rodney did.