×

Delaney: Standup finds following on Twitter

10 Comics to Watch 2012 - Rob Delaney

Rob Delaney was playing Sir Lancelot in a road show of “Camelot” when the standup bug bit. “We were running late because our bus had broken down, and I was doing sound check in front of the audience when I made them laugh. At that point, I was like, ‘I want to do comedy for the rest of my life.’?”

The Boston native soon moved west and began performing at venues in Los Angeles, hoping to get noticed. But the industry wasn’t terribly interested in Delaney’s longform, story-based style of comedy. Then, in 2009, Delaney set up a Twitter account and proved that he could be hilarious in 140 characters or fewer — often a lot fewer.

“I had been slaving away in the mines doing all the traditional stuff, but Twitter exposed me to other people,” says Delaney, whose short, wildly irreverent posts earned him the distinction of Funniest Person on Twitter at Comedy Central’s Comedy Awards.

“Since I wasn’t making a living doing comedy at the time, I didn’t feel bad about giving material away,” he says. “There was a time in the beginning when people were saying, ‘You can’t give it away for free. Make people pay for it.’ But I couldn’t make people pay for it.”

Now they do. Delaney’s tweets have amassed more than half a million followers — an audience that has translated into real ticket sales. The attention even earned him gigs on the British series “The IT Crowd” and MTV’s “Ridiculousness.”

“I went from telemarketing and doing standup for nickels to having two TV writing jobs,” he says.

Since then, Delaney has shot a special he plans to self-distribute via his website, as well as a pilot for Comedy Central, appropriately titled “@robdelaney.” He’s also busy penning a book for Random House and a screenplay.

But his true love remains standup. He performs monthly shows at UCB with friend Dave Holmes and has sets slated at Just for Laughs and the New York Comedy Festival, as well as a sold-out weeklong stint for October at London’s Soho Theater.

“Twitter wasn’t here last week, and it won’t be here next week, but I’ll still be making jokes,” he says.

LAUGH FACTS
P.O.V.: “Can you afford milk and pants? Then you’re rich. Anything above that is just ridiculous.”
Influences: Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Joan Rivers.
Reps: WME/Avalon/Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman and Goodman

More Scene

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Opens New Downtown Los

    Alamo Drafthouse Storms into L.A. with New Location

    “Cinema is alive and well tonight!” Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League declared at the theatrical venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday night, where a gathering of 160 employees cheered and sliced into a strip of 35mm film in keeping with the company’s tradition. Despite dire predictions heralding the end of the theater-going experience, League was upbeat [...]

  • America Ferrera'Superstore' TV show photocall, Comic

    America Ferrera Blasts 'Send Her Back' Chant: 'Embarrassing and Shameful'

    America Ferrera has been a longtime political activist who has focused a large part of her work on immigrant rights. She’s now speaking out about the chant of “send her back” targeting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was shouted at a President Donald Trump rally earlier this week. “It’s devastating and shocking and embarrassing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content