Pandora has been one of our favorite online destinations for streaming music recommendations for years now, but today, the site has gone one step further - stand up comedy.
The site, which lets you create stations according to genre or artist, has taken this same time-tested formula and applied it to the realm of stand-up comedy, bringing the likes of Rodney Dangerfield, Mitch Hedberg and George Carlin to its millions of monthly users.
Pandora, which just celebrated 10 billion thumbs up and down yesterday, announced the addition of comedy stations on its blog, with founder Tim Westergren and CTO Tom Conrad writing that "adding comedians to the mix has been one of the top requests from our listeners."
With music, Pandora organizes songs and artists according to a number of different characteristics, as defined in the Music Genome Project. The company says it has taken a similar approach with comedy:
[...]so we've taken the same approach to comedy as we have to music: carefully and deliberately analyzing comedic "bits" across a very large number of attributes to capture the style, delivery and content of each performance. It's been a very fun experience, taking what we've learned in music and applying it to a whole new category. Now, instead of talking about "minor keys," "falsetto," and "extensive vamping," our comedy-analysts capture "odd juxtaposition" (A horse walks into a bar...), "misdirection" and "spoonerisms" (a well-boiled icicle, instead of a well-oiled bicycle)...
They say they've worked with a team of comedians, classifying more than 10,000 sketches from more than 700 different comics into a variety of genres. And if you're wondering, a warning plays when the station begins saying that it contains "explicit and offensive material", so it sounds like Pandora isn't about to censor the acts. That's good, because who wants a PG-13 Richard Prior or George Carlin, right? And just like with the music, you can create stations based on genres, which you can see below, or by comic.
Head on over to Pandora's new comedy channel and give it a whirl.