Carl Joshua Ncube On Why One Hit Viral Comedians Fail

Carl Joshua Ncube is one of the most successful stand-up comedians in the country, having maintained his brand for years, through it’s ups and downs he decided 2 days ago to give insightful advice on how one can stay on the radar after his break out offering. He originally made this for comedians because he is a comedian but the message still applies to the music industry if you ask me. (Carl actually does a number of things other than comedy. Social Media, Advertising, Animation, Branding, Sleeping… you get the gist)

Carl Joshua Ncube

Why VIRAL or internet sensations FALL OFF THE RADAR – by Carl Joshua Ncube

Before you start waving the sour grapes card at me I will ask that you keep a very open mind about what I am writing about. Being in the comedy industry for a mere 5 years I have seen a number of VIRAL ACTS suddenly appear and then fall off the radar like clockwork before the year is out. I have been in close proximity of such acts and deduced the same characteristics to their downfall and I have listed some of those reasons below.

In order to go viral a couple of things happen, the video has to be FUNNY, STUPID, PROFOUND or CUTE but the following mistakes are common amongst those that fall off the radar


Most internet sensations can’t explain to you why they got famous so therefore cannot explain to you how to sustain or maintain unknown fame. This is a problem if you remember the expression FAILURE TO PLAN is a PLAN for FAILURE

Revenue streams

Most viral acts have no idea how to put in revenue streams to help sustain their new found success. Remembering that you have gone viral because someone has consumed your content for FREE! Not having a plan to recover or make money and keep the integrity of your work is a balance most fail to strike.


Particularly in Zimbabwe we have a huge bunch of experts on what the next viral sensation should have done. Due to the fact that the ACT had no plan listening to what everyone says is the biggest downfall as most advisors are not in the field to make that call in the first place. Stuff like IMPROVE QUALITY, MAKE MORE CLIPS, DO STUFF IN SHONA are examples of such advice. My question always is WHY WAS THIS ADVICE not available BEFORE WE BECAME FAMOUS? Didn’t we get famous without all this GOOD ADVICE?

Growing with your fans

VIRAL internet sensations don’t get the opportunity to grow with their fans and learn to interact with them and build long lasting relationships with their fanbase. You wake up and suddenly you have 200,000 likes on your page but you didn’t even know how to interact with 200 friends on your profile.

It wasn’t just you that made you famous

Due to a lack of understanding that it wasn’t just the video that made you famous, leads the internet or viral sensation thinking that’s all it was about and hence a failure to figure out what to do next. Your first hit can often be the very thing that brings you down. The reason why you were famous was relevance, at that time there was just something in the air that made a great idea explode and the right people shared it and viewed it and responded and thats why you are here today.


Most just suffer from wanting to milk this thing before it disappears instead of making a plan to bottle and distribute in a systematic manner. Getting water from a well versus building a pipeline. So most VIRAL sensations worry about GETTING the money from the one thing.

No Brand Identity

Not listening to what your fans are saying because that is what your brand is. If you are that group called US two then you are really Zimbabwe’s Cover Girls thats what people fell in love with that’s what you need to do more of. I had to plug my girls in this am such a fan ‪#‎SHAMELESS‬


Not thinking about how the money is going to work will make internet sensations crash and burn. You start getting offers to endorse this product and the next using that one hit and you get paid and you haven’t thought about who gets what. We have seen it many times, fall out with managers splitting facebook pages.

Work ethic

Because of the one hit its possible to get wrapped up n the hype and excitement and forget to put in any work after that. After all they know you coz of the one thing and go crazy but the very reason they loved you is the reason they will abandon you.


Before you start thinking you are a legend because you are now viral remember there is still an industry of the that have been there for decades. Harnessing that knowledge and respecting it will be what keeps you in the game or what sinks you into oblivion.

This is just the ramblings of a stand up comedian by the way but nonetheless very important for any artist that has had the gift of going viral is to remember it is a gift, how you use that gift can make you or break you…enjoy it while it lasts and also work hard to make it LAST even longer

If you found this useful you may want to read this article on how to use your Milestones as ladders.

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