From TikTok to the Stand-up Stage: Connor Wood at the New York Comedy Festival 

Conor Wood—known as Fibula to 777.4K followers on TikTok—talks about his path from digital fame to the stand-up stage. “There’s more on the line with stand-up because there’s no editing," he says.

Connor Wood performing at The Stand on November 10th. Courtesy of Align Public Relations

In December of last year, 28 year-old Connor Wood—known as Fibula to his 777.4K followers on TikTok—wrote a goal on a sticky note and pasted it to his wall: “Come up with a 20-minute stand-up set by the end of the year.” At the time, the TikTok comedian—known for short skits and stories about his life and family—was lingering in his newfound internet stardom and searching for his next step. Less than a year later, Wood had appeared on the same bill as Bill Burr in Los Angeles and hosted two back-to-back sold-out shows at the 2023 New York Comedy Festival

The comedy industry has been slow to consider internet stars as bona fide comedians. Yet, Connor Wood’s recent renown seems to signal the industry may be gearing up to embrace TikTok comedians into the mainstream. 

Observer spoke with Wood at his show “Fib & Friends” on November 10th at The Stand. Despite being new to stand-up, Wood had no problem filling two New York venues: the 300 capacity Chelsea Music Hall and a smaller 100+ capacity space at the Stand. His swift rise from digital renown to the stand-up stage is a new path. Most comedians trudge their way through years of open mics and indifferent audiences before they can headline a club show, but Wood’s TikTok followers are already eager to materialize. The Stand was packed with ogling fans and, Wood jokes, “boyfriends who are forced to come along.”  

The shift from 45-second videos to an hour-long set is not easy, Wood said. “I don’t think many have broken through. That’s why I think it’s a miracle I can bring a crowd to this room,” Wood told Observer

At the Stand—as he had the night before at the Chelsea Music Hall—Wood hosted a show featuring comedians Dan Toomey, Isabel Steckel, Natalie Ortega, and Neko White. Steckel will perform with Wood on a 12-city tour next spring. 

Steckel was edgy and provocative and requested Wood introduce her as “the girl you know from the second page of PornHub.” Ortega performed her set entirely in song accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Wood, for his part, offered light-weight comedy about his life and family that roused laughs and participation from his familiar audience. 

Wood is well known for his comedic lifestyle content and podcast “Brooke and Connor Make a Podcast.” At one point during his set, he Facetimed his co-host Brooke Averick, and the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. The podcast started in 2022 under TMG Studios and has ranked #22 on the Apple Podcast chart for the United States. Wood describes it as an “unbelievable success.” 

Much like a sitcom, the podcast gives listeners the sensation of casually hanging out with friends, even at work. Averick and Wood pride themselves on their ability to reach both Gen-Z and Millennial audiences. While they are plugged into internet trends, they can also speak to a young adult audience that is just getting their start in the professional world. “I have a 401K,” Wood said. “I don’t know how to access it—but I have it.” Wood started posting on TikTok after being laid off from jobs at the dating app Bumble and the electronic scooter company Bird, and says the podcast is meant to emulate the “podcasts I used to listen to while on Excel—the kind where you can kind of have your eyes crossed. I think we provide that, where it is comforting and funny.”

However, Wood is committed to seeing how far stand-up can take him. “It’s addictive,” he explained, “like the fountain of youth, it just keeps replenishing. The jokes are always there.” He performed his first set in 2022 at the Improv in West Hollywood, and he has been working the LA circuit since. 

While his fans who know him from TikTok and his podcast rush to buy tickets, the stand-up community has been slow to embrace internet comedians. Matt Rife, who just debuted his Netflix special Natural Selection, told Jimmy Fallon he was ready to quit the comedy scene before having a video go viral on TikTok. While the success of that video helped launch his career, he had long been committed to the stand-up stage. 

Wood has a different trajectory. A TikToker turned podcaster turned comedian, he told Observer he was also interested in acting and writing—his eggs are in several baskets. Yet, as a comedian, he would likely benefit from committing to the bit. 

In Natural Selection, Rife describes a Twitter brawl between himself and a woman insulting him in the comments. He declares, “You can’t cancel me; I’m not your gym membership.” In an age where the rhetoric of public figures is ferociously interrogated this is an almost necessary mindset for comedians. They cannot be scared to offend.

While the other comedians at The Stand were audacious, edgy and funnier for it, Connor seemed to be playing it safe. As a TikTok star, this makes sense—several influencers have lost their platforms for offensive remarks—but comedy arguably is at its best unpolished. It excels somewhere between acceptable and crude. Wood, however, seems to tip-toe around the punchline. 

Connor Wood—and his phone—at the Stand. Courtesy of Align Public Relations

“There’s more on the line with stand-up because there’s no editing,” Wood said. “It’s real-time. You have to somehow fall asleep at night after doing a show you have to tweak. So you learn from it, and you come back and do it again. You can’t post the same video twice; you delete it if it does poorly. With this, I gotta suck it up, I gotta work harder—which is crazy because I’m not a hard worker.” 

It’s easier to do it behind a phone, Wood explained. He gets extremely nervous before taking the stage. Asked the last time he wanted to quit, he replied, “This morning.” The time before that? “Yesterday morning before my show—I’m like, maybe I’ll get hit by a car on my way there, and I’ll be in the hospital, and then someone will make a GoFundMe, and I’ll look like a hero.” 

However, Wood’s success points to the importance of internet comedians to the comedy industry. “If you’re not taking TikTok seriously, you are on the wrong side of Herstory,” Wood said. “I don’t know a more genuine medium than TikTok right now because people that don’t take it seriously flop, and companies that don’t take it seriously flop,” he said. 

Wood expects to sell out 300-400 capacity venues much on his upcoming spring tour and hopes to have a special on a streaming platform by next year. Given the power of his sticky note manifestation so far, his success will likely continue to surprise both himself and the comedy scene. 

 

From TikTok to the Stand-up Stage: Connor Wood at the New York Comedy Festival