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TechCrunch TechCrunch 19/05/2016 John Biggs

If you, like Dick Van Dyke, love to laugh loud and long and clear, then Laugh Radio hopes you’ll tune in. This standalone audio app offers a searchable achieve of streaming comedy for fans of chortling, guffawing, and snorting.

“We’re building great technology from the ground up, designed for spoken word and applied to comedic performances,” said the founder Dave Scott.

The mission is two-fold. First, Scott said that stand-up comedy is booming and 50 million people go to comedy clubs every year. Comedians sell out stadiums and comedy has moved from being a niche pastime to a major force on TV and radio.

But, sadly, comedians aren’t getting much cash for their work.

“Thirty years ago, comedy album sales made up 20% of total record sales. This was the heyday or Eddie Murphy, Cheech & Chong, and even Andrew Dice Clay,” said Scott. “But then distribution paths changed. People stopped buying albums and started streaming. Catalogs faltered and access to great comedy shrunk. Access shrunk, but interest never did.”

“I realized how important comedy is to people and how hard it was to access it. I also realized that comedians are extremely poor for a very long time. Comedians have no idea how to gain exposure and build audience – making this a hard and unpredictable journey. This is where my app comes in,” he said.

A noble goal, this. The standalone app is launching this summer and will feature 400 comedians and allow a way for up-and-comers to upload their comedy at will. You can search for comedy bits and listen to streaming stations featuring single comedians or various topics.

There will be an ad-supported free version of the service and for $7.99 a month you can sign up for “Front Row Seating” with more content and no ads.

Scott said that comedians are into the idea. Comedian Lewis Black told him he wanted in immediately.

“So you mean I can make money while taking a shit?” Black said. “Sign me up!”

And thus we end the post with an image of Lewis Black on the toilet. You’re welcome. The company is raising capital now and is currently in closed beta.

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