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Published on September 14th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Third Beat Housewarming Party

That’s right — Back of the Room has up and moved, just like that!

All old content from has been transferred over to, and all new posts from this point forward will be posted exclusively on Third Beat. The old blog will still exist for archival purposes.

So why am I doing this? Shoddy planning, really. A year ago, I didn’t expect this blog to become much of anything. I got a blog before realizing its limitations (notice the lack of embedded Flickr slideshows?), and picked a name that will never be suitable as its own domain. Stuff like that becomes exponentially annoying as readership grows, and boy has it grown: in July/August, readership increased an average of 632% over 6 months ago.

Basically, it’s time to tidy the place up, because company keeps coming over.

Other than the look, the blog won’t change significantly. Everything I write will still be about the artists and work that I personally care about most, will come from my personal perspective, and will use CP-correct style only when I damn well feel like it (not having an editor is what makes blogging worthwhile, right?). I’ll do my best to step up the amount of content, but still mandating that what I write is not just a regurgitation of news found elsewhere. The goal has never been to dominate the comedy blog genre, either; Third Beat is part of a well-balanced diet of comedy news, and my only true mandate is that anything I post will potentially be of as much interest to a reader in Toronto as it is to a reader in Toledo.

I started Back of the Room to satisfy my need to pontificate on comedy, something unfulfilled since abandoning my radio and print gigs in Winnipeg. Really, it existed only to spare my friends the agony of so. much. scrolling. on my private blog — and if others wanted to read it, great. As more people have been reading, my motivation has gradually reverted back to why I started covering comedy in the first place: making people feel more connected to something that’s all about connecting. It’s less about my own need to blather on, and more about taking the opportunity to get people more engaged and excited about comedy.

Incidentally, the name “Third Beat” is in reference to a) the comedic rule of threes, wherein the third item (“beat”) is the punchline; and b) the final set of scenes in a longform improv Harold. Since I cover both standup and improv equally, an inclusive name felt appropriate.

So update your feeds and your bookmarks, be patient while I work out the design kinks, and I’ll see you all in the comments!

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

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  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including