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Humour: Millennial Men Use Comedy to Stand Out or Fit In

Blogger: Jaime Morrison

Comedy Central recently commissioned a survey to find the relevance of humour in the lives of their target audience, 18 – 34 year old male Millennials. Research conducted by Nielson Entertainment Television and Sachs Insights shows that more than music, more than sports comedy has become essential to how young men view themselves.

This research shows that sixty-three percent of young men surveyed said they would rather be stuck in an elevator with comedian Jon Stewart (or another favourite comic) than their most idolized athletes.

The results of the Comedy Central survey identified that when comparing men and women, the importance of humor stands out among men. In November 2011 we asked Canadian Millennials how they would be described by close friends or family using a list of descriptions. We found that among Millennials (aged 18 – 30) men were much more likely to be identified as tech-savvy (70%) than women (49%). Women were much more likely to be identified as creative (70%) and stylish (60%) compared to men of the same age group (creative 53%, stylish 47%). The young men we surveyed were also about 10% more likely to self-identify as a couch potato (40%) than women (29%).

Three-quarters (74%) think that funny people are more popular and more than half (58%) will send funny videos to their friends to make an impression. While Millennial men are almost united in their description as tech-savvy, this research shows that comedy has become an important characteristic that they use to stand out themselves, or to fit in with others.

One of the research group participants explained what they like about performers like Daniel Tosh of “Tosh.o” “…he does what I like to do: watch YouTube videos and make fun of them all day.” As Millennials increasingly turns away from television to online viewing the industry has begun to adopt new online channels to reflect this shift.