This weekend, the Times TV section broke the news: "Sidelined by the Strike, Comedy Goes Online." The paper then pointed to several good comedy sites that, during the writers' strike, have continued to publish the same stream of comedy that they published before the strike, except now with Fred Armisen. The SNL star surely bolsters public opinion of online comedy by telling the paper it's "kind-of comedy" (so what did he think SNL was?). Armisen also shares the burden of keeping track of all the online entertainment, after being overloaded with fifteen e-mails. But to be fair, there are also quotes from web-based comedians that explain real benefits of the strike for original web comedy.
David Wain (of the surprisingly witty series Wainy Days) credits the strike with luring more TV stars over to web comedy. That really is a boost to the medium; the success of online sketches involving Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Bill Murray, David Cross, Michael Cera, Chris Kattan, and Bob Odenkirk showed that TV and film stars can do fresh things online with less-exposed costars, creators and crew. They also bring a respect for their work that you just can't find in most web-based comedy groups, like the stupid but popular Smosh.
Web series director Liz Cackowski mocks people who think they can invent a viral video; College Humor comedian Donald Glover (of the funny-actually-you-should-watch-it group Derrick Comedy) points out that you can't wait a week to make a joke, because someone will beat you to it. And one of the million people who parodied Tom Cruise the other week admits that not all his ideas are gold, which is kind of funny when his only famous video was the most unoriginal idea since "Leave So-and-So Alone."