Looks like laughter is less than a mile away, as gay dating app Grindr is poised to enter the streaming comedy space.
The location-based service that connects LGBTQ people will produce the livestream comedy special “Gag Reflex,” featuring a roster of rising queer comedians.
“Comedy is such an integral part of the queer experience and we couldn’t think of a better time to show off our brightest queer comedic talents,” said executive producer Patrick Rogers. “After getting through a particularly difficult year for the community we’re so excited to share in some much needed laughter.”
The special will launch April 1, airing on YouTube and on the Grindr platform, which in March touted 5 million daily active users. “Gag Reflex” will star Joel Kim Booster (NBC’s “Sunnyside,” Hulu’s “Shrill”), Sydnee Washington (“Broad City”), Jay Jurden (“The Tonight Show”), and notable east coast comedians Jaye McBride and Zach Zimmerman. Each stand-up set will feature insights into modern dating and the queer experience.
The special follows the announcement of Grindr’s first original series, “Bridesmen.” Created by John Onieal, the series will consist of shorts following a gay man who attempts to undermine his best friend’s wedding. The show recently began production and is set to air this fall. The originals join continued efforts from Grindr to celebrate queer talent and users connected amid the pandemic, including “Pride Perseveres,” a 30-day in-app content festival launched in June 2020.
Dating apps and queer-trafficked spaces have been increasingly investing in original streaming content. Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, adult website Pornhub announced it had acquired its first-ever mainstream film, a documentary about Black lesbian strip club culture in the early 2000s called “Shakedown.” In late 2019, matching app Tinder produced a user-controlled original series titled “Swipe Night,” which let users decide the fate of the narrative.