There’s something about radio attracting funny people. I suppose it all comes back to the proverbial “face for radio.” TV hosts are beautiful. Radio hosts, traditionally, have had to overcome the lack of beauty, thus learning how to get attention another way–through humor.
However, just because you start somewhere doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll end up. In fact, some of the funniest people on TV and in the comedy world got their start in radio.
Radio Created The TV Star
For me, radio has always been my favorite medium for humorous entertainment. There’s nothing like listening to a group of funny people share their stories and thoughts on the world around us. Sure, TV is funny but they’re actors reading from scripts that were written by someone funny. They can do take after take until they get it right. That’s not how it goes with radio! You have one chance to make your joke land, or it’s out the window (or you become the punchline because of your failed attempt at a joke).
It’s that pressure of the red light being on that brings the best out of funny people. There are no rehearsals, no table reads, you’re live. Radio gives performers a chance to incorporate all the different comedy subgenres. It’s like stand-up, only you’re sitting down and you don’t have a routine that you’re performing. Since there’s no routine, there’s the extra addition of improv in radio. You never know what might get brought up next, so you always have to be ready. It’s the ultimate primer for someone who wants to be funny.
Given these characteristics, it’s no wonder why so many funny people started in radio. It’s like having some street cred. You rose through the ranks and cut your teeth doing things the hard way. Some of my favorite comedians got their start in radio. Other funny people, who may have got their starts in other ways, now have turned to radio or podcasting as their go-to medium. Why? Because it works. It gives comedians and humorists a medium to talk and share their thoughts on the spot.
Funny People In Radio
Radio is such an excellent medium to start your career, that it’s not only funny people who got their starts there. Some of the biggest names in entertainment, comedy aside, got their start in radio. According to TheThings.com, before becoming a news anchor, Oprah Winfrey worked as a newsreader for a radio station at age 16. Likewise, TheThings points out that Weird Al got his start in entertainment working at his college radio station. Carson Daly and Ludacris also got their feet wet working in radio before establishing their own lanes in entertainment.
As I previously mentioned, some of the funniest people in show business got their starts in radio. Let’s get to the list of funny people!