We’re thrilled that Norm Laviolette, co-founder of Improv Asylum and one of the bright (and hilarious) minds behind Laugh Boston, is presenting a Comedy Keynote at this year’s show-within-a-show Comedy Marketing Conference.
Norm took a few minutes to give us his take on the comedy-marketing connection:
Where did you find your funny?
My parents. Both my mom and my dad were very funny in their own ways. I learned early on how being funny and joking around with people allowed for connections to happen.
How on earth did you make the connection between comedy and content marketing?
Content marketing is about getting a message across. Comedy is a medium that when done right can cut through barriers and deliver a message to a receptive audience.
What’s something funny about your story that has contributed to your success?
So many. The great fecal flood of ’98 comes to mind. Three weeks after we opened our doors in Boston’s North End, we were hit by a huge Nor’Easter. The sewers backed up and we were knee deep, no lie, in sh!t. Everybody pitched in to bail the place out—cast, crew, people off the street. Really that is the essence of improv comedy: working together to make something funny with all the shit being thrown at you from the audience. In this case it was literal.
What’s the most un-funny content marketing offense you’d like to see eradicated with an effective use of humor?
Playing everything super safe, and also having “notes” given on comedy by non-creative/comedy professionals. If you don’t take chances in comedy you end up with lame stuff. This is usually because someone up in the higher office decides something isn’t funny or is too risky. Yes, you will piss someone off somewhere. Dems da breaks. Comedy is about risk. If you don’t want to take risks don’t use comedy in your content marketing.
Second, just because you have the ability to laugh and consume comedy doesn’t mean you can create it. I eat every day, sometimes really amazing food, but it doesn’t mean I now know how to prepare it like an expert. Higher a damn pro if you want to use comedy in your content marketing. Same way you would higher a professional designer, accountant, mortician, whatever. Nobody should be doing their own embalming. I’m just saying…
Now, that’s just funny!