‘Beethoven’s Producer’ Shows the Changing Tide in Digital Comedy
It’s been nearly two years since we featured Chuck Armstrong and Charlie Stockman’s work, and in that time, digital comedy’s landscape has changed quite a bit. “Our new sketch is specifically about a content gatekeeper ruining an artist’s work in the name of commercial viability,” Chuck and Charlie told me. “The artist, in this case, happens to be Beethoven.” The commentary they’re making is well-timed and pointed — if not entirely original — but the part of all this that strikes me most?
How To Make Popular Music (Beethoven’s Producer)’s own video performance on the Funny or Die YouTube channel is languishing with only about eight thousand views at time of writing. This piece would’ve killed two years ago, but now it begs the question: Is plain-funny sketch still commercially viable, or does there need to be a deeper, more overt commentary to capture a bombarded and more socially conscious audience’s attention?