The genesis of Laughterlog was an irregularly published magazine devoted to comedy history specifically for collectors called Laugh. It ran for 25 issues from 1991 to 2005 and covered the careers and output of comedy greats from the US, UK and Australia. All of the information was sourced from actual items in collections, with no parrotting of erroneous information from other sources.
Laughterlog is the natural extension of Laugh, but without the ‘having to buy a magazine’ part.
Laughterlog.com strives to be the definitive comedy source on the internet – providing the most detailed, well organised and reliable information anywhere.
A similar team of comedy aficionados also began Laugh Radio, a 24-hour comedy station in Melbourne, Australia which went to air in test mode in the late 1990s, playing commercially-released spoken-word comedy of all eras from the US, the UK and Australia.
In its quest for a full-time community licence, Laugh Radio shared a frequency (usually 89.9 MHz) on a rotational basis with other (mostly youth-oriented music) aspirants, but even its limited periods on air were sufficient according to audience tracking to attract up to 1-2% of the Melbourne listenership, very significant figures for a non-profit amateur enterprise with almost no promotional capabilities other than word-of-mouth.
The concept clearly had great potential, providing an instant alternative to the already saturated music and talk markets, with niche programming that promoted longer and active listening, and drawing heavily on huge private collections of material not heard on radio. However Laugh‘s bid (and that of several other groups with proven financial independence and substantial listener loyalty) was ultimately thwarted by the Australian Broadcasting Authority’s decision to award the contested licences to the considerably less popular (and therefore less threatening to the existing commercial interests) Light, SYN and KND.
The impact and memory of Laugh Radio lingers, several years on – even nearly a decade after the last broadcast there are still questions regularly emailed to Laughterlog from former listeners trying to identify a track or artist they heard on air.