In Manhattan last week, I listened to journalists and artists share true stories about times in their past when the lights were off. They were nocturnal tales – some funny, some sobering -- that revealed their obsessions, fears and vulnerabilities.
The event, hosted by comedian Andy Borowitz, was held by The Moth – a nonprofit storytelling organization. Some of the storytellers included Mike Daisey, who’s been referred to as the “master storyteller” and whose employment at Amazon.com (amzn) was chronicled in the book, “21 Dog Years: Doing time@Amazon.com.” Check out Daisey's site.
Sitting down in the Players Club, amid a crowded room of theater devotees, as I listened to these artists I realized that storytelling was such a gift, and one that I truly did not have. The 10 minutes allotted to each storyteller was just enough to whisk me away into their worlds. I wish The Moth traveled to San Francisco more often so I could hear more personal stories. Alas. There is such a virtual venue that hardly compares but offers up storytelling in the form of comedic shorts to satisfy those occasional desires for a dose of humor. That is Acceptable TV, VH1’s new Internet site and weekly television show which launched on Friday. The program appears to be part of a new genre emerging that is 90% professionally-produced content combined with free-form user content.
"It’s a genre that marries reality TV, Google’s (goog) YouTube. “The primary point is to create a really funny TV show,” said Michael Hirschorn, executive vice president at VH1, a unit of Viacom’s(via) MTV Networks. “We’re giving users the ability to tell us what’s funny and what’s not.” Go to my MarketWatch blog to watch my interview.
VH1, a unit of Viacom’s (via) MTV Networks, partnered with executive producer Jack Black (famous for his comedies, such as “Nacho Libre”) and Channel 101 co-creators Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. Read Net Sense for full column