The Official Shorty Awards Blog

#EmergingComedian finalists on how Twitter has changed their careeres

We partnered with the New York Comedy Festival on the first #EmergingComedian Shorty Award to highlight how Twitter is accelerating the careers of the next generation of humorists. On Sunday at the Laugh More NYC show hosted by Elvis Duran, Harrison Greenbaum was announced as the winner of the #EmergingComedian Shorty Award. He then performed ten minutes of audience-captivating, hilarious comedy. He also made this video:

  

           Elvis with Harrison                    Harrison with Grandma

Here’s what Harrison and the finalists had to say about how Twitter and social media has effected their careers, along with answers to our interview questions.

Twitter has helped my career in so many different ways.  I joined Twitter pretty early on, primarily using it as a way to reach a new audience - I perform in more than 600 live shows a year, but it’s Twitter that has allowed me to reach an even broader spectrum of the public and spread my brand of humor worldwide.  In addition to tweeting jokes after I’ve polished them on stage, I’ve also found it extremely valuable to try out new jokes on Twitter, analyzing the feedback I receive from my followers and bringing the ideas from the most responded to tweets on stage.  Twitter is also a great tool for promoting upcoming shows, so I use it for that as well.  Finally, as a comic who’s often on the road, Twitter has been a great road buddy - sending out Twitpics from each new town I’m in and tweets abut what it’s like there is a really fun way to stay connected with my friends and fans even when I’m not in New York City.

Who’s been your inspiration on Twitter? 

@kimkardashian - If someone with so few apparent skills can have that many followers, then surely I can at least break the 1,000 follower mark.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter? 

My Mom follows me on Twitter, but she initially tried to hide the fact that she even had an account.  I had to eventually tell her, “Mom, you chose a Twitter handle that combines half of my name with half of my sister’s name and ends with our house number. Did you think I wouldn’t recognize you?”

Who do you wish followed you?

@jimmyfallon, @conanobrien, @jerryseinfeld, @chrisrock, @louisck

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Did I mention that my mom’s on Twitter?

Twitter has had a tremendous role in helping my comedy career. It has allowed me to expand my fan base in a quick and efficient way. I am able to now reach over 1,000 people with just one Tweet. I often promote my shows, test out new material, and interact with fans from my Twitter. Being able to monitor Retweets is especially effective in letting me know the type of humor my followers enjoy. I have on several occasions adapted Tweets into jokes and vice versa.

Who’s been your inspiration on Twitter?

Eric Stangel has been a Twitter inspiration to me. He is able to Tweet about both relevant pop culture and sports in a very humorous way that makes followers identify with him

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Getting a follow request from my Grandma

Who do you wish followed you?

Eric Stangel

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Having strange men in their 40’s tweeting at me


Twitter has given me a great place to test out new material and jokes.  It is also pretty amazing because you can be part of the one liners in real time.   When you see jokes on David Letterman or Conan, those are pre-recorded shows, Twitter is happening right now…  so if Kim Kardashian announces a divorce, you are right there making jokes!  My favorite event so far has been my coverage of the Rapture… I have tweeted as @RaptureHelpDesk and truly just had a lot of fun with it!

The major thing about twitter is, it connected me with people who were able to promote my videos and other projects.  I am currently working on a new TV project because of the connections I made via Twitter.

Who’s been your inspiration on Twitter?

@GregGrunberg, @Alyssa_Milano, @Lord_Voldemort7 @DrunkHulk @PeeWeeHerman @ConanOBrien

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

I got into a conversation with Porn Star @Amber_Raynexxx about The Whopper Bar in NYC, it got to the point where we might have a date to go there and eat Whoopers when she is in NYC again.

Who do you wish followed you?

@ConanOBrien

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Rose McGowan blocked me on twitter, and to this day I have no idea why…


Its concise format gives me the opportunity to do what I feel I do best, and love most- to write quick, punchy jokes about pop culture/politics. It also has opened me up to a whole new international audience that I would not normally get to reach. 

Plus, it’s a daily writing exercise- like going to the gym, with a few hundred people staring at you while you’re on the treadmill. 

Who’s been your inspiration on Twitter?

Paul F. Tompkins got me excited about checking twitter.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Someone with a twitter name that I did not know once started following me, and really seemed to enjoy my jokes- he would retweet them, and tell me how funny I was. It turns out it was my boss at my day job a the time. I thought I was going to get in trouble for tweeting at work, but I was apparently his court jester!

Who do you wish followed you?

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Through DMs with a buddy of mine when we were bored at work, we developed a whole monthly segment for my live comedy variety show- the segment is called THE FEED, and we read tweets aloud about various hashtags that we came up with ourselves.

(authored by @travishelwig)

After spending six years doing comedy, I spent four months writing FriendFromHS and got a manager. Twitter is amazing. It’s allowed me to become more integrated into the larger comedy community as well.

Who’s been your inspiration on Twitter?

Real Comedians : @jenstatsky, @azizansari, @shelbyfero, @dcpierson, and @joemande

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

Everyday I get hate messages from people who worry about the safety of my fake kids

Who do you wish followed you?

Drake, Lil B, Rick Ross. Really, just rappers. I want to tweet exclusively for rappers

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you on Twitter?

I was drunkenly propositioned by an 18 year old girl. I won’t tell you if I accepted or not. 

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November 15, 2011