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Evan Williams and Biz Stone

Co-founders, Twitter

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone originally envisioned their service as a way to keep friends updated on activities wherever they happen to be. The idea was that pals could respond whenever they chose, by mobile phone or computer, as long as they kept it short.

Little did the duo know how much comedians would embrace Twitter as a way to build their fanbase. Comedians as diverse as Rainn Wilson, Dane Cook, Stephen Colbert and Sarah Silverman have taken up tweeting, peppering followers with one-liners, links and tour information — all at 140 characters at a time. Several have staged mock fights, such as Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, co-stars of Comedy Central’s upcoming “Michael and Michael Have Issues.” Even Doonesbury TV newsman Roland Hedley tweets to his followers.

Comic scribes such as Diablo Cody and Paul Feig have also been tweeting with alarming frequency. The day after Michael Jackson’s funeral, Cook sent this wisecrack: “I just got the urge to hear every Madonna song, all the time, everywhere I go, until it almost ruins them completely. How’s she feeling?”

Questions remain about the founders’ ability to monetize their trendy technology, but they haven’t lost their sense of humor. As Stone quipped to one doubting pundit not that long ago: “Brevity’s the soul of wit, right?”

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