Several months ago I released a series of “Vegan Comedian…” videos on YouTube, and in these videos I did what could only be correlated to as “Standup comedy.”
The so called “jokes” that I came up with were meant to poke fun at vegans and meat-eaters alike: “Vegan Alcoholics,” “Vegan Abortions,” and “Rotten Meat,” all the videos addressed awkward, and bizarre conversations that I’ve had over the years. (None of them by choice.) The idea behind the videos was to lampoon the dynamics between vegans and meat-eaters—and I thought a corny, try-hard, hack, standup comedian would be a fun medium to use. I added in the fake lack track to make it more fun, and I timed it just a second off just to add to the cringe-factor. It was all in good spirits.
In the description of the video I had a little paragraph stating that it was filmed with a laugh track and that it was just for satire purposes, and then I added in a list of real comedians who also happen to be vegan. Originally, the videos were titled “Live Performance – The Vegan Comedian…” but combined with the laugh track, it became too obvious, and there were other versions were I really hammed it up for the camera, but those didn’t work either.
I am a vegan; however, I am not a “Live out Loud,” vegan. I do write articles, and post videos, about veganism, but in real life I often don’t talk about veganism. None of my friends even knew I was vegan until several months afterward. In fact, the majority of the time that I do talk about vegan/vegetarian/pescetarianism is when I’m talking to vets about how a healthy diet can help with PTSD—other times are when I’m specifically asked, or when I think someone’s experiencing a problem that a vegan/vegetarian diet could address (cue research on diabetes, heart disease, etc). But over the years, as stated, conversations have happened—as they do to every vegan, and meat-eater, alike—that I thought would be fun to talk about and parody.
Anyways…people are watching the videos and thinking they’re real—that I’m some guy really trying to be a comedian, and that I added in the laugh track to pull one over on people. The intent was to create this type of ‘try-hard, hack comedian’ but I figured that people would watch the videos, maybe think a little about the meat-eater/vegan dynamics (from both sides); laugh a little; cringe a little, then read the description and be in on the joke. The videos came out exactly as planned; the only thing I didn’t plan on was that so few people would read the video descriptions. One video has gone viral on Reddit (twice) and the three videos combined have been shared over 3,000 times and have gotten over 150,000 views. Go figure. People think they’re real—or created with real standup comedy intent.
In the last week I’ve gotten a dozen emails from angry people (actually a majority of angry comedians) saying things like: “You suck. You’ll never make it as a comedian using a fake laugh track.” And let’s not forget All-Captials-Guy: “I’VE BEEN DOING COMEDY FOR SIX YEARS. YOU’RE A HACK AND YOUR STUPID VIDEO HAS MORE VIEWS THAN ALL OF MINE COMBINED. WE ALL CAN TELL THAT YOUR [sic] USING A LAUGH TRACK NO ONE’S BUYING THAT IT WAS A REAL AUDIENCE. WE’RE LAUGHING AT YOU NOT WITH YOU. FUCK YOURSELF YOU STUPID VEGAN.”
And then of course there are the other comedians who tried to ‘trip me up’ or ‘catch me in a lie.’ I got three emails from comedians asking questions like, “Great audience, bro. Where were you? I’ve been doing standup for years and haven’t had a crowd like that. Who was head-lining, bro?” Obviously they think I created the videos for real and they’re trying to catch me admitting to using a laugh track (With these emails I had fun and typically answered back something like: “Wow. Thanks for the email, bro. You’re right the crowd was awesome that night. I can’t believe the great response…” you get the idea).
I did get a couple of emails from people who had originally commented angrily on Reddit, then had read the video description and sent me an email: “Hey, I posted an angry comment on reddit about your video (I never comment but your video got me so angry) but I read the description after I had shown it to a few friends and I’ve got to say you got me. I total bought it. Part of me wants to comment on reddit and let everyone know and part of me wants to just keep it going. Great job…”
Anyways… it’s a fun joke, people are responding to it in funny and interesting ways, the only reason I’m even mentioning anything now is because of the emails I’ve gotten regarding it. I get dozens of emails every week from veterans and family members of veterans looking for help and when I have to take time out of answering those emails to answer these, that’s where I draw the line with the joke.
Lesson learned: People don’t read video descriptions.
12 thoughts on “The Vegan Comedian – A Follow Up”
I’m a vegan too and I hated your videos when I saw them on reddit
Stupid vegans attacking one another that’s why you’ll never convince anyone to stop eating meat at least his videos were intentionally meant to make people cringe and be funny the rest of you vegans are just annoying.
I’m a vegan and I thought the jokes were great, real or fake, they’re funny, especially the ROTTEN MEAT JOKE. it’s true people don’t even know what’s going on.
I sent you an email and you said you planning a sequel video since these comes out so well. Now I know you create as joke and I have new appreciation.
I’m a vegan too and I talk about veganism all the time does that make me a bad person? So what if I want to help people and change the world? Am I a bad person if I talk about veganism a little more than I should? What if I’m running a charity to help people with cancer and if I’m always talking about ways to cure cancer and stuff would that make me a bad person? How is talking about veganism any different? I’m trying to help people and it seems like you are too so you and I should be shouting it from the top of our lungs and not just talking about it only when asked.
I new it had to be a joke the laugh tracks were too obvious you should have tried to make them sound more real rather than timing them off so that the laugh comes right before the joke.
Michael, I run a vegan blog and I would love to interview you about this if you get the chance. Please email me back.
The jokes still suck and need work. If you’re going to parody something work on the jokes more so that the character and laugh track is there but at least the jokes are there. I’d be happy to help write some jokes if you plan on doing any more videos.
The laugh track was good since you wanted it to be off by a second or two but work on the jokes.
I liked the jokes Michael and thought they were real and funny either way I think the jokes are great!
You bastard! I came here to send you an email too. Kudos to you!
I just came here too.
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