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Comedian Accused Of Using Laugh Tracks, Fake Stage & Edited Crowd To Record Viral Standup Clips Alone From His Apartment

Last week a TikTok by comic Anthony Zuccaro blew up when he accused another comedian of gaining a massive following in a dishonest way. Basically, faking standup sets from his own apartment & then editing them to look like he's killing on stage at "live" shows:

Let's just say, hypothetically, that there's a comedian who's gained a million followers by faking most of his videos. Theoretically. Let's just say this guy exists. Uh, green screen background at different stages. There's also a laugh track that he adds into some of them. What do we do about that? There's a couple options... Do we just let go and let God, just let him keep doing it? Do we call him out on it publicly? Because I.. it's so obvious to us? Does he know that we know? I just have so many questions. 

Then he ends it directly addressing the mystery comedian in question. 

If you see this enjoy filming standup in your closet. 

Zucarro didn't name the accused, but naturally it only took .000000001 seconds for people to begin tagging who they thought it was in the comments, and the most common guess was Peet Guercio. 

You can scroll around and take a look for yourself but here's a quick snapshot. I'm often wrong and this is all just alleged (shoutout ass-covering), but I do notice really vague backgrounds, extremely similar lighting & shadows on all of them and the same mic in almost every post. There's also some posts with crowd silhouettes, and he's been accused of editing those in, too. I have no clue.

Guercio definitely did have other posts that were for sure at live shows, but in a follow up, Zuccaro doubles down, drops some new details, and confirms it's Guercio he's talking about:

Two last things I need to address about this situation. One, I was wrong about Peet. I'm apologizing right now. He doesn't use a green screen. It's much worse. He built multiple sets in his apartment. Uh, which gives a whole new meaning to living in a studio. Also the amount of you that thought I was talking about Stavros… If you watch Stavros's clips and think those are green screen and then scroll on over to Peet and think those are real, I think you need to be tested for CTE.

And in yet another post, Zuccaro responds to a commenter asking why laugh tracks are a big deal and to him, "standup is a live performance art form" and Guercio is just "impersonating a live performance". 

Now, I've never heard of either of these guys or seen any of their work (as they could say the same of ol Kate here), and deep down I truly could not care less, but momma needs a blog so here's my theory:

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It's fucking tough out there for a comic. Social media has changed the game, and now comedians can grow their fan base way faster than in olden days on the 'Tok. Some comedians who may suuuuuck post the only, one funny minute from a 15 minute set (usually a crowd interaction) and bam, it's on to the next city as their following grows and grows. 

Perhaps Guercio, who has been doing real, live shows for a long time including a weekly live show in West Hollywood since '16, needed a big break. Maybe those minute clips from the live shows just weren't happening and his socials were stagnant, so he gamed the game a bit further. Why not get some fancy curtains & glowy lights & grow that following from the comfort of your own kitchen? 

A big fan base on social media means club/college/corporate event bookers are quicker to assume you'll bring in a crowd, and in fact, this pops up on almost all of his posts:

His jokes might not make me laugh, and the premises may not be super original, but if I'm booking for a university & see he's got 1.1M followers & videos with millions of views and he's in the right price range, I'd feel comfortable taking a chance on him. Buddy, you're booked and you never had to leave your front door.

Watching the videos back while picturing him alone in his kitchen telling jokes to his fridge (allegedly!) did indeed give me a bit of the heebie-jeebies. I can see if Guercio made what he's doing part of the joke & everyone is in on it, but to genuinely try to pass it off & not address it is weird.

On the other hand, the big "gotcha" videos Zuccaro also feel kind of "ehh". Like yeah, it is a super odd thing to do, but seeming so personally offended by it felt off to me as well. Maybe I just don't understand the #art & grind of being a comedian, but I can't see Sas flipping his lid about something like this. I asked resident comic Mook what he thought and he said what Guercio was doing was definitely a strange, but that he wouldn't go out of his way to point it out either.

Someone called Guercio out for doing this at least once before over on Reddit, and once again I was a bit surprised to find most people were totally cool with it. There were also several comedians in the comments saying they'd done shows with him and he got laughs and was professional. 

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Did he manipulate the algorithm to win the game? Does he deserve the bookings he's getting? Is he destroying a sacred art form?! Or are people just jealous he found an easier way to get booked? Does anyone care?! Sound off in the comments bc Momma needs clicks.