Sometime in early 2006, I approached my friend and fellow comedy nerd Matt Belknap after the Comedy Death-Ray (now Comedy Bang Bang) show at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles and said “hey man, I've been thinking about starting an indie stand-up label.” He replied, “that's funny, I've been considering the same exact thing.” We shook hands and started the long, weird process that is owning your own business. He may remember this interaction differently, but he would be wrong.

Several years prior, Matt had started an online message board to discuss the creative output of comedy-rock duo Tenacious D, which is still quite active at aspecialthing.com. The board grew quickly and morphed into a forum for comedy fans to discuss Mr. Show, the thriving stand-up scenes in New York and LA, and “alternative” comedy in general (I know, you hate that term. Relax). Eventually, a number of comics began using the site as a means to interact with fans. You should check out the forum sometime. It really is quite something. Matt and I decided to use the same brand that had already emerged, and dubbed our new venture “aspecialthing records.”

We set about producing records right away, and have been fortuitous enough to work with some of the absolute best comedians working today. In the meantime, we also began producing several successful podcasts, including Never Not Funny, Doug Loves Movies and The Smartest Man In the World.

If all goes according to plan, you can expect a lot more from aspecialthing records in the near future. We built our business on a tenuous foundation of luck and financial abandon, and will continue to run our business that way as long as fate shall allow. We do not attempt to be the biggest name in comedy; just the longest.


Ryan McManemin