Comedians: Stop with the Bullshit Credits

Stop with the Fake Credits

Originally Published on July 28th, 2013.
I work on both sides of the microphone. First by making sure the comedians I put on stage make people laugh but also bring a specific brand of stand-up to my stage AND getting behind the microphone myself to do just the same thing. I have to admit, I have SHIT for credits.  It’s something I never focused on when I was coming up in comedy.  Sure, I have worked with famous comedians most people know, but I can’t say I have been seen on TV or on a morning radio show or Bob and Tom (like 1000 other comedians) or ANYTHING like that.  In fact, the comedians I have shared the stage with didn’t even request me to be on stage with them. So fuck those as credits too. That is my failure as a comic. But hey, now I have something to work on, right? Why not just fake it until I make it?  Because fuck that.

False Credits

I have one statement to anyone that tells me they have been seen on NBC or Comedy Central as a credit. Show me a video clip of this.  Why?  Because if you are claiming a TV credit and have no proof, it isn’t a real credit.  If you were an extra on One Tree Hill for a few episodes, you cannot honestly say “As seen on One Tree Hill”.  I know two comics I won’t name that do this. I won’t name them because they are cunts for doing it and don’t deserve the fucking blogspace. If you were an extra, it’s not a fucking credit. Douchebag.  If you have been on TV, when I Google your name and the credit you give me I should come back with SOMETHING.  If I don’t, you go in trashcan of my email.  I would rather a comic be recommended to me by another awesome comic that has done my room than try to get in by bullshitting. Some bookers eat it up, I could give a shit.

Fake Credits

Now these are credits that just aren’t true at all.  You don’t see these as much as you see the exaggerated False Credits. But no shit, on several occasions I have seen people pass off that they were part of things they weren’t at all a part of.  Simple fact checking brought this to light and I didn’t even bother to contact these people back at all OR I made up some polite excuse to avoid unleashing the sociopath that lies within on some troll quest to defame me or those I do business with.  Hell, I even know a guy that tells not just the audience he is from a country he is not from, but the girls he DATES and everyone he runs into in public.  Complete with fake shitty accent and all.  Please note, if you are reading this, and that is what you do, eventually you are going to run into someone from that country you pretend to be from and they are going to OWN your ass publicly for being a fraud.  Asshat.

How False Credits are Successful In Getting Booked

Comics that claim certain known credits to people that aren’t as savvy or interested in making sure they are true get booked ALL THE TIME.  Bar owners, new club owners, other comics, they fall for this shit left and right. A huge mistake of many of these new comedy venues/bookers is that they just want something that sells. They want some way to tell the general beer drinking public that the comic they are going to put on stage has done SOMETHING they may have at least heard of once. It works more often than it doesn’t.  The down side to this for the comics is it traps them at a level where they may in fact be getting paid work, but the possibility of moving forward and advancing in their career is very slim.  Why?  Bullshitters smell bullshit a thousand miles away. The folks in TV and Film have been lied to by the best of them, and guess what, they don’t waste their time with it. So don’t exaggerate your credits, or worse yet, make them up, go out and be good enough to get REAL ONES.

How important are credits, really?

Credits are still the end all be all of getting forward in your career.  It’s sad, as they really don’t mean as much as they used to.  Comics get on TV by the thousands every year, and their is not really much chance the general public saw it happen and now want to come to a show.  At one time you were made after getting on The Tonight Show.  Now I can book comics that have been on the Tonight Show and if I don’t bust my ass to promote the show, I will have 5 people show up.  The KIND of credits are more important now. But the paradigm is shifting to self-made credits.  Did you star in a web series that had a huge underground following? That is an awesome credit.  Do you have your own Podcast with thousands of listeners all over the country?  THAT is a great transferable credit (meaning it transfers into audience members showing up to see you.).  While it is still important to say you got on comedy central, the modern comedian progressing in his career KNOWS that it takes more than that to earn a good living and draw a crowd at a comedy show.

So in closing, you don’t have to out yourself.  You don’t have to hurt the amount of shows you are booking by marketing yourself well.  Just don’t lie. Period. If you have been lying, fucking quit. Own up to it if asked, then don’t do it again. Ever. In the end, integrity goes a lot further than your “As Seen on blah blah blah” bullshit embellished credit will.



Matt Ward Written by:

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