From the Working Comedian: Interview with Beth Stelling

Comedian Beth Stelling dropped by our office in Oakland and cracked everyone up with material from her new album, Sweet Beth. Beth was featured at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and, in 2011, and was awarded the Rooftop Comedy’s Silver Nail Award, recognizing the Best Underground Standup Comics. Beth has also been named “Best Standup Comedian” by the Chicago Reader, and this past July, she made her late-night television debut on Conan. Read More →

From the Comedy Curators: A Festive Alternative to Holiday Music (Grinch Warning!)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…if you love holiday music, that is. If carols aren’t your jam, the last couple months of the year can be as unbearable as watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians without hilarious commentary from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys.

comedyblogthumbsdown.jpgIt always starts the same way. In early November, some local radio station fires the opening salvo by switching over to all “Sleighride” and “Frosty The Snowman” tunes. Department stores and online retailers jingle their bells in the background of their commercials. By the time Black Friday rolls around, the entire world has gone “Holiday”. Coffee shops are swathed in tinsel while Karen Carpenter coos about frosted windowpanes and three-quarter time; the local mall plays the 16 covers (yes, there really are 16) of that John LennonHappy Xmas (War Is Over) song on a continuous loop; and gaggles of kids gather on street corners to raise money for charity by singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer” and “Winter Wonderland.”

So congratulations on maintaining your sanity for this long! While many of us delight in our ability to bask in holiday jingles this time of year, I’m here to help all the rest of you get through to December 26th with some festive comedic relief. Read More →

From the Working Comedian – Interview with Don Friesen and Jason Love

Stand-up comedians Don Friesen and Jason Love stopped by Pandora headquarters in Oakland to entertain employees with our very first live comedy Whiteboard Session. After waking the staff up with a 9:30 AM performance, they kept us laughing as we chatted about open mics, vomit, and advice for aspiring comics.

Don Friesen is the only two-time winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. He has appeared on Comedy Central and his recent special Ask Your Mom is currently airing on Showtime.

Jason Love has appeared on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, and HBO’s Luck. His award-winning humor column, So It Goes has run in over 50 publications. Read More →

Knock, Knock…

comedy_blog_graphic_3.jpg Dear Listeners -

We’re excited to say that we are officially in the business of telling jokes! Starting now, you can launch personalized comedy stations on Pandora from any genre or comedian.

Adding comedians to the mix has been one of the top requests from our listeners, so we’ve taken the same approach to comedy as we have to music: carefully and deliberately analyzing comedic “bits” across a very large number of attributes to capture the style, delivery and content of each performance. It’s been a very fun experience, taking what we’ve learned in music and applying it to a whole new category. Now, instead of talking about “minor keys,” “falsetto,” and “extensive vamping,” our comedy-analysts capture “odd juxtaposition” (A horse walks into a bar…), “misdirection” and “spoonerisms” (a well-boiled icicle, instead of a well-oiled bicycle)…

We’ve had a great team of working comedians furiously analyzing what is now a collection of more than 10,000 sketches from more than 700 different comics and counting.

As with music, we hope that the Comedy Genome Project will let people enjoy comedy they know as well as discover new talent that they love. And for comedians everywhere we hope that Pandora can provide a great big new platform for new fans. There is surely nothing more important than helping the world laugh a little more!

We hope you’ll give it a whirl. Here are some quick options to get you started if you need some: Comedy Genres.

And, as always, don’t be shy about feedback, we love to hear from you.

Enjoy!

Tim (Founder)
Tom (Chief Technology Officer)