The Internet allows amateurs and public figures the same access to the public as novelty performance artists. The difference is that amateurs will do it for the attention and other public figures will show novelties of their life to draw the fans closer to them. In that atmosphere a person making a living doing the same things has a hard time finding a market.
The Internet has taken over much of our lives since it's inception. Now it has come to the point where the book industry has had to readjust to survive. The music industry had to readjust, and now the movie along with the TV industry. But now it would seem that some are being left behind because of the digital age. Cable and Satellite TV struggle to stay viable. It would surprise me one bit if performance artists have had the same problem. In some ways some of them have also had to evolve to continue their craft, they are doing it by creating videos and placing them online of their performances. I guess the old saying if you can't beat them join them definitely applies when it comes to the Internet.
The internet has taken a significant toll on the industry for novelty performance artists. You no longer need to go to a circus, or Las Vegas, or any kind of "show" to get your laughs. Today, it is as easy a search on YouTube, and within minutes there are millions of videos at your fingertips.
With the rise of the Internet, niche entertainment industries are at risk. People would rather view their unique entertainment options on a computer screen rather than wait for an act to come to where they live. The benefit of the Internet is low cost performance art. You don't need a space that can hold your entire audience if that audience is virtual.