(By Randy Lane) As we continue to adjust to “sheltering in place” and wearing masks, the two top trending news topics are the controversy over reopening states and passing stimulus packages. However, the two top trending coping mechanisms are Comfort and Comedy.
Comfort foods like mac and cheese and meatloaf are high on the list, and the comfort buzz is coffee, alcohol, and cannabis home delivery in states like California and Colorado. Nostalgia TV, movies and music – including Christmas music – are driving media consumption. Do not be surprised to see rating bumps for Oldies and Classic Hits-Rock-Rhythmic formats.
Humor was already at the top of listener desired attributes for morning shows before COVID. Listeners were seeking to escape the negative political polarization that dominated the news.
Now, comedy from everyday folks dominates the internet, like the recreation of famous paintings on Instagram. Comic relief has never been more needed as an antidote for boredom, frustration, loneliness and depression.
In Norman Cousins landmark book, The Anatomy of an Illness, he was diagnosed with an incurable disease and sent home by doctors to die in 1964. He watched every episode of the television show Candid Camera as well as comedy films and routines over and over. He essentially cured himself with laughter and lived another 25 years.
John Moe hosts the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression where he talks about the healing power of humor. In the latest edition of Health magazine, Moe says, “Comedy is a way of connecting.”
- Gather famous clips of major television shows, movies and news reports of trends and fads from the past. Fire one off when the topic comes up in conversation or as a funny drop.
- Male targeted shows could store clips of great past moments in sports. News and Talk stations could use clips of big news stories from decades past.
- If you are a heritage show, re-purpose your greatest bits.
- Plan fun and funny segments more often throughout your show.
- Create your own comical lists like the many you see online.
- Run brief Late-Night Highlight type segments throughout your show.
- Pull stand-up clips to supplement topics or as rejoins out of stop sets.Randy Lane can be contacted by phone at 805-497-7177 or email at [email protected].