Hey I'm Bill Conway. I'm a stand up comedian, lackluster skateboarder, and I'm one of the co-founders of The Hard Times. I hate talking about myself so let me tell you about someone I truly admire; Muhammad Ali. Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky. He started boxing at age 12 and eventually became the heavyweight champion of the world at age 22. Because he refused service in Vietnam he was stripped of his title and spent years of his fighting prime outside the ring as vocal opponent of the war. He eventually had his boxing license reinstated and went on to win the title again during the infamous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight against George Foreman. Ali died in 2016 at the age of 74 and is widely considered the greatest fighter of all time.
What I look for most in a Hard Times pitch is simplicity. Satire is a unique form of comedy that requires a bit of subtext in order to be truly effective. If you are too clever with a pitch then you might cloud your subtext or completely step all over it.
Here is an example of one of the best Hard Times headlines of all time:
Dog Wearing Misfits Bandana Can’t Even Name Three of Their Songs
This headline has it all. It's a real world situation exaggerated to the next level. Everyone knows the punk elitists that insist you know every fact about the band you claim to enjoy. This takes it to the next level and puts the same expectation on a dog.
Also when pitching to The Hard Times make sure you give your packet a proofread. If your 5 headline ideas are riddled with spelling mistakes that is a red flag. Check to make sure we haven't done a similar headline before, and try to keep in mind the voice of The Hard Times.
If you sit around thinking to yourself "The Hard Times is dumb as fuck, I could write that shit in my sleep." Well prove it. Send us 5 of your best headlines and if we like what we see then you will be added to our pool of contributors.
Show us your deep knowledge of music subcultures, understanding of pit etiquette, and excellent band references. Submit anytime, and if you don't hear back right away try pitching again. We are looking forward to seeing what you come up with.