Last week, the A.V. Club ran an essay that asked, “Are we nearing comedy podcast overload?” In it, writer Steve Heisler argues that, “for the good of comedy, people need to stop creating new [podcasts].”
His main concern is overexposure. Because there are so many podcasts, Heisler writes, “appearances by comedians no longer feel special, either on podcasts or at live shows.”
The sentiment comes off as snobby and spoiled. For comedy fans who don’t live in hotbeds like New York, Chicago or L.A., podcasts offer precious opportunities to hear comics who don’t tour regularly, in a setting more intimate than a nightclub: our earbuds.
What if we applied Heisler’s theory to other mediums: Is television worse off because there are more channels, and by extension more shows, than ever? What about film, music or even YouTube videos? Quantity doesn’t deplete quality. Instead, we pick and choose the best of what’s available.
If another podcast is created today, it’s not going to impede the enjoyment of your favorite podcast tomorrow. But if, suddenly, comedians stopped making podcasts, it’d be a sign to me that the medium is dying — not thriving.