Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld on Going From ‘Jake and Amir’ to ‘Lonely and Horny’

lonelyandhorny
Comedy duo Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld are back in the habit writing, directing, and starring in Lonely and Horny, a goofy new web series on Vimeo. Amir plays Ruby Jade, a narcissistic thirty-something who feels entitled to sex and can’t comprehend why women won’t do it with him. Jake plays Josh Rice, a dating coach who teaches classes on getting laid in the vein of The Pick-up Artist. Although the premise of the series falls in familiar misogynistic territory, the writing and characters flip the script and create a refreshing reversal. The result is a funny mashup of a bro-comedy with a feminist flair. Whereas a lesser series might write a young male character who can’t get laid because women are just too “shallow and dumb” to appreciate his greatness, in Lonely and Horny, there’s nothing wrong with the women. It’s Ruby. He’s an unapologetic jerk. That’s why no one wants to sleep with him. As for Jake’s character — Although Josh Rice gives sexist dating advice, that’s just how he makes his living. Off the clock he’s spending time in a loving relationship with his wife and baby. So while Lonely and Horny probably isn’t going to be honored by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media as a symbol of feminist progress anytime soon, the series is a step in the right direction. I caught up with Jake and Amir on Passover seders, dating antipasti, and the future of Lonely and Horny.

How is your Passover going?

Jake: Chag Sameach!

Amir: It is an easy fast to be sure because we’re both eating bread anyways.

Do your families have any interesting Passover traditions?

Amir: None more interesting than just a good old fashioned seder, though if you ask somebody who has never been to one, it’s a very interesting tradition.

Jake: I think we’re going on at least five years strong of all sitting down at the table and not doing the seder.

Amir: Which is unique for jews.

Jake: Yeah. [Laughs]

Lonely and Horny is hysterically funny. Have you had any surprising responses to the show so far?

Amir: I guess we’re pleasantly surprised by how adored it is by our fans and also people who aren’t necessarily fans of ours.

Jake: Yeah, My parents and their friends have been enjoying it, which I don’t think I can say for Jake and Amir.

Why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s appealing to an older demographic?

Jake: I think it looks a lot less like an internet video than the Jake and Amir videos. There’s something about the cinematic quality that makes people enjoy watching it to begin with and then hopefully they respond to the comedy after that.

What is your writing process like?

Jake: We started brainstorming the character of Ruby Jade even while we were still writing Jake and Amir. So it was similar to Jake and Amir in that sense in that we’d basically do these bits of this character before we even wrote anything down. So by the time we did start writing, we sort of knew his voice and knew how he would behave in any given situation. And then the writing process for us is usually just sitting in a room with a laptop and trading it back and forth trying to make each other laugh with what we’ve written on the page.

That sounds like fun!

Amir: It is fun.

Jake: Yeah, we laugh a lot when we write, which is a good thing.

Despite the premise, the show is surprisingly feminist.

Amir: Wow! [Laughs]

At first we think Ruby is going to be a classic American Pie-style nice guy stuck in the friendzone with a bunch of women who don’t appreciate him. But then we realize he’s actually just a horrible person and that’s why women don’t like him. Did you set out with this intention when you wrote the series?

Jake: We definitely wanted him to care a lot about getting laid and we wanted him to be one of these douchey bros who totally subscribes to kind of like the archaic dating method of insulting people. It was kind of making us laugh how bad that would go for somebody in today’s climate. So I don’t know if we intended to make it feminist, but we definitely intended to make Ruby not a winner because of the way he treats and thinks about women.

Amir: Can you write ‘surprisingly feminist’ on the banner art for the website?

If you could give any dating advice to young guys between 18-25 what would it be?

Amir: I guess I would say it’s like any muscle. You have to sort of exercise it. So stay single, go on dates, try to get more confident, don’t worry so much about the result, enjoy the journey.

Jake: Yeah, try not to have expectations is number one and number two, you will be surprised at how far just being a good listener gets you. I think that’s what everyone wants, men and women. People are really just looking for someone who is respectful and is a good listener. So if you can listen and have empathy, you will be a Casanova.

What do you hope people take away from Lonely and Horny?

Amir: That we’re really talented, we’re good at videos…

Jake: This is so honest.

Amir: I don’t know, I guess we want it to resonate with people. For it to be truthful, but funny. Relatable, but still make you feel both happy and sad for the main character.

Jake: We had a lot of fun making it so we hope people have just as much fun watching it. Because that will mean we get to make more, so hopefully — that happens.

You have a silly threesome with the talented George Basil. How was the shooting of that scene?

Amir: I actually didn’t even know we were shooting.

Jake: There was full penetration in that scene. They wouldn’t let us post it on Vimeo. We got some really graphic stuff.

Cool. [Laughs] How much of the series is based on real life dating experiences would you say?

Amir: A good amount. I mean, a lot of it starts off with a real dating experience and then it turns into the absurd — oh, wouldn’t it be funny if this happened. Like I remember a waiter on a date of mine trying to interject and be funny, so we thought it would be a funny situation if my date thought this waiter was better than I was.

Jake: Which is impossible.

Amir: It’s so laughably silly to imagine, that we wrote it.

Jake: There’s real life masturbation experience in this thing too. Like just closing a bunch of porn tabs. Which I know I just took it to the next level — but that is how a lot of people watch porn.

Kind of frenetically?  

Amir: Yeah, I think that it’s similar to the way people are using dating apps. I don’t know, this digital age is crazy.

Jake: A lot of choices.

Amir: All at your fingertips.

There’s a very funny scene where Ruby describes a successful dating experience he has with an olive. Why an olive?

Amir: [Laughs]

Jake: That came from real life as well. He was dating a pear.

Amir: Yeah, I went on four dates with a fig and thought that was kind of crazy. I think we were just joking around about that once and we thought it might be funny to show Ruby on a date with an olive, but they were like — maybe that’s too crazy, maybe they should just say that he dated an olive and the girl doesn’t quite get it.

Jake: In our head that was one full episode we were going to do. Kind of like Lars and the Real Girl but with a fruit.

If you made a blooper reel of Lonely and Horny what would it include?

Amir: There’s lot’s of parts where I couldn’t keep a straight face. Like in episode seven when I’m practicing pick up lines on another male student. It’s like this really long speech and it was necessary for me to say the whole thing without smiling or cracking lines because the camera had to stay on me the whole time. And I got to the point where I was like I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it, I don’t know what to do, it was a physical challenge to keep it together.

Do you miss working on Jake and Amir?

Jake: No. Next question? [Laughs] No, I don’t miss working on Jake and Amir, but I look back on it very fondly. It was a really fun time in my life and I think if I wasn’t making anything right now, I would miss making Jake and Amir. But right now I miss making Lonely and Horny.

What can we look forward to from you guys in the future?

Jake: Hopefully we’re going to be making another season of Lonely and Horny, so if people continue to buy it like they have been, then I think we have a good chance, but if that doesn’t happen, then we’re going to fade away into obscurity.

Amir: I might try to be a plumber.

Jake: I might start building porches back home in Connecticut. That was always my fallback plan.

Watch the first episode of Lonely and Horny here and buy the full series on Vimeo.

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