Thanks to the social media age, times have undoubtedly changed in many industries. For example, the entertainment industry has seen social media’s impact from music to modeling and comedy. Many of today’s celebrities would perhaps not have seen the success they’ve achieved today within their careers if not for the doors that TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and others have opened for them. But, many have been critical of some of the talents that we’ve been introduced to.
The grind was much different before the social media age for entertainers. For comedians, in particular, they did not have the opportunities to engage people with their jokes or skits within 6 (for those that remember Vine) to 30 seconds. However, in recent months, social media influencers have come under scrutiny as many questions the validity of their celebrity. Discussions have been had on various outlets, from Cocktails with Queens on Fox Soul to stars like Lebron James speaking about it on his Instagram.
Comedian Kim Coles, famous for her work on In Living Color and Living Single, spoke on the subject of comedians who have found fame on social media. During a discussion with comedian and actress Janelle James on the podcast Strong Black Laughs, Coles talked about how social media apps like Instagram leave many feeling entitled to believe that success should happen overnight.
“It’s not true,” Kim Coles began. “I mean, you can become Instagram famous. But it’s what you do with that fame and what you do with that platform that makes all the difference in the world.” The actress then stated her belief that many of these current “Instagram famous” stars “won’t be lasting for 34-years.”
The legendary comedian went on to add that fame is just the tip of the iceberg, as there is much more involved in maintaining a successful and long-lasting career. “It’s more than the fame game. It’s the work,” stated Coles. “To me, it’s also [that] I always respect people who also have studied it.”
Exhibiting just how much love and care that she has for comedy, Coles describes it as a “healing art form.” She continued, “You know, we all know that laughter is the best medicine. We, as comedians, are actually healers in many ways.” Janelle James, who currently is being lauded for her leading role in the new series Abbot Elementary, agreed with Coles as she labels being a comedian a “superpower.” “It is a superpower,” Coles chimes in, “and it is to be respected and nurtured in a beautiful way.”
While Coles is absolutely correct in her comments, we are thankful to social media for introducing us to some of today’s upcoming and brightest stars. Baltimore comedian Jess Hilarious got her start on Instagram with skits that have since filled seats on her tour dates. Jess Hilarious has proven that her comedy is more engaging than Instagram’s brief moments as fans continue to sell out her shows nationwide. She has since also starred in the short-lived Fox sitcom Rel, Wild ‘N Out, and is currently on The Nick Cannon Show.
Another comedian that has blown up from social media is DC Young Fly. The Atlanta-born star also found his talents being utilized on Wild ‘N Out, as well as the revival of TRL. DC Young Fly remains in high demand as he hosts various award shows and is one of the acclaimed 85 South Show podcast hosts. Others include Tony Baker, the recently NAACP Image Award-nominated KevOnStage, and BlameItOnKway.