Monday, August 26th, 2013

The Best of Good Neighbor, the Sketch Group 'SNL' Just Hired

On Friday, we reported that SNL is hiring three members of the Los Angeles-based sketch group Good Neighbor for the 2013-14 season. Good Neighbor consists of writer/performers Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, and Nick Rutherford, who all met as students at USC, and Dave McCary, a childhood friend of Mooney's who's the group's director and editor. Mooney and Bennett have been hired by SNL as featured players and McCary as a video director, making this the second time the show has added multiple members of an existing video sketch group after The Lonely Island in 2005.

Founded in 2007, Good Neighbor quickly amassed millions of YouTube hits with their sketch videos before the four members signed a contract with Maker Studios to release content via their own individual channels in 2011, where they've all continued to produce popular videos. The group does live sketch too, performing regularly at LA's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, where they've mounted two original sketch shows in addition to a slew of other credits at the theater, and they've even toured the country as a group. Prior to landing on SNL, Good Neighbor finished filming a Comedy Central pilot, The Good Neighbor Show, that's produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay via their company Gary Sanchez. SNL is reportedly working with Comedy Central to get them out of their deal with the cable network so they can join the long-running sketch show. In addition to Ferrell and McKay, the group has earned fans like Steven Spielberg and Louis C.K.

To familiarize yourself with the Good Neighbor catalogue before SNL returns next month, here's a collection of some of their best and most popular videos:

"Toast." Three friends say a few words before a night out.

"Is My Roommate Gay?" An early Good Neighbor video that they followed up years later with a pretty great sequel.

"This Is How We Trip." The Good Neighbor guys play DXM users.

"Pregnant Jamie Lynn Speaks Out." An atypical topical sketch for Good Neighbor. Mocking teen actress Jamie Lynn Spears's pregnancy, this video was the group's breakout hit and earned them representation by a management company. It's still their most popular video, in terms of YouTube views, today.

"Best Kids Awards." A short but sweet riff on awards shows.

"Unbelievable Dinner." A parody of a scene from Steven Spielberg's Hook. Spielberg's daughter showed him the video, and he sent Good Neighbor an encouraging note.

"Keyboard." Beck and Nick both try to make the case that they didn't use Kyle's keyboard.

An episode of Beck Bennett and Nick Rutherford's non-Good Neighbor web series, Theatre of Life, in which they set up chairs in a public place and mock passersby.

"Lakers Champions." In addition to their sketches, Good Neighbor has also released several videos like this one, in which Kyle Mooney does man-on-the-street bits as the most incoherent interviewer ever.

An episode of Beck Bennett's solo web series Fresh Perspectives, in which he moderates discussions of current events between children. It's similar to AT&T's "It's Not Complicated" ad campaign, in which Bennett also stars.

"Smoking." A Kyle Mooney solo vid directed by Dave McCary that's one of their best.

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  • https://www.vizify.com/donnieclapp Donnie Clapp

    That fourth guy's gotta feel like shit.

    • anonymous

      Yea, what about Hispanic Nick?

  • fatfupaman

    I've watched "Toast" like eight times in a row and its still awesome.

  • Nicholas A. Myers

    SNL should hire the dudes who do the Dead Kevin sketches. If you don't know who they are, look up "Dead Kevin" on YouTube and watch everything.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Oh cool, adding three white guys should really help diversify the humor & add to the show's demographic appeal.

    • bob flans

      i think they might actually make SNL relevant to young people again. they can't control their own race or the racial make-up of the show. i know SNL was looking for a black woman and i assume this backlash is in part because they didn't find/take one. the lack of diversity is a shame, but i don't blame good neighbor!

      • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

        Totally; I don't blame them & wouldn't hold it against them; I would blame SNL casting & executive though. Especially since all of the last rounds of casting have been pretty pale. Better on the gender diversity, though, I'll give them that.

        • JC

          @Mordicai is the show about diversity or comedy? You guys probably aren't racist but you sound like racists. Color or content?

    • JJ

      You sound like a massive racist. The show is a comedy show, not a show about diversity. They actually audition people of all races, and the funnier ones get to audition again. The point of the show is humor, its not about showing a broad spectrum of people just as diversity hires. You are so politically correct that you are in fact a racist.

  • larakerns

    I remember seeing these dudes at USC sketch comedy shows years ago…but sigh, more white men :

    • HH

      Wow, you sound like a massive racist. What matters is the comedy, not the skin tone.

  • squidterm

    SPORTY KYLE! watch?v=gdwchohlMjI

  • http://Www.thinkingoutsidethevoicebox.com Ari

    I had the opportunity to be the voice (playing on the TV for the "Best Kids Awards" Sketch) on their last video (to date) on the Goodneighbor channel. I also had the honor of being the voiceover for one of the early Bruce Chandling "promos." I may not have been paid (yes, I volunteered as I'm a big fan) but I can still say that working with these guys was a career highlight :-)