At its best, YouTube is the Garden of Eden; not only for the next generation of comedians, but actually forming the next generation of comedians. It's way more than just a promotional tool. At its worst, YouTube is the ruthless Angel of Death, and perhaps for an entire comedic genre...namely, stand-up. Gulp.
I never tell people the kind of money I make. Mostly, that's because it changes all the time. Some clubs pay very well, some not so much. There is no industry standard and the money changes from week to week, depending upon everything from experience to location to number of shows performed per week.
In September of 2010, Troy Conrad launched a new format of stand up: unscripted and on a topic that the performer sees at the same time as the audience. It is (quite aptly) billed as "Stand-up Without a Net. I recently spoke to creator Troy Conrad and Paul Provenza about Set List, and the changing business of comedy.
Every week I drive 90 minutes to do just five minutes of stand up comedy. Sometimes I'm the funniest guy on earth. Sometimes nobody laughs. Sometimes I yell at drunk people. Then I drive back home. Three hours to do five minutes. Crazy? No, it's the most important thing I do all week. Why? Stand up comedy is Navy Seal training for becoming more interesting.