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This Week in Web Videos: 'The Very Real Dangers of Doing Drugs'


Didn't think you'd see a a D.A.R.E. sketch after 1999, did ya? Same. Also, same. Here's the thing: I clicked this one, sent to me by the fine folks at Stevedore Comedy and, holy hell, it's  quite good. It's also eye opening as a reminder that no premise is inherently hackneyed. If placed in the hands of capable and brave comedians, even the thing you thought you'd seen a million times could take on entirely new life.

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Bounty Hunters'

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 9.48.22 PMBetsy Kenney and Dara Katz are….bounty hunters. Actually, they're not. They are talented writer/actors, though! Talented actor/writers who've created an intentionally terrible series that's as funny as its fly-by-night origin story is inspiring.

How did Bounty Hunters come about?

Dara Katz: We wanted to do something together and we just started throwing ideas against the wall. We knew that we wanted to do something different from what we would normally do, like an action movie. So we just tried to find something to build that into and that’s how being bounty hunters became the idea of the show.

What was your writing process?

Dara Katz: We sat down pretty quick after coming up with the idea and we pretty much did it all in one day. We sent stuff back and forth to each other, read it out to each other, and then wrote more. It was a pretty quick process; we really wanted to get something made.

Budget?

Dara Katz: It was very low, that was another thing we really had to work around. It was about $500. We were very cheap when it came to filming and sound. That’s where having it have a VHS kind of feel really helped us.

What was your biggest hurdle?

Betsy Kenney: Our biggest hurdle of bounty was making it "bad funny" instead of just "bad." READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'It's Not OK, Cupid'


It's rare that non-comedy platforms release "funny" content that's actually funny but damn, Glamour Magazine's done did it on their YouTube channel with some help from Lindsey Brett Carothers, Lilli Cooper, Lily Depaula, Koryna Gecait, and Talia Thiesfield. Glamour is slated to release four more eps of It's Not OK, Cupid over the next two months and, if they're anywhere near as strong as the first two, I may be forced to associate the powers that be at this beauty hack periodical with something more redeemable than egregious Photoshopping. If you're debating whether or not to watch these horrid OK Cupid message readings, some dude offered to spank one of these women like a "disobedient avocado," so, you know, this is really in your best interest.

UPDATE: Just found out about this video from MeUndies released one month before today's featured piece.  Guess you owe us an explanation, Glamour.

h/t to Lindsey McManus.

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Rockin' Rangers'


There are many ways to make a great sketch. One of those ways is ensuring you've established stakes that are  introduced early on in the piece and inspire a totally visceral reaction. This week's sketch from Adam Murray— surely inspired by Mr. Show's classic Titannica–is equipped with clear, squirm-inducing stakes from the outset and serves as a perfect example of how to create near-instant audience engagement. It's also really funny. That, I suppose, is the most important thing.

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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This Week in Web Videos: 'The Other Kennedys'

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Not everyone can follow their wildest dreams. That's the harsh reality for most adults whose ambitions are naturally tempered with grocery bills and car payments, mortgages and kids' college savings plans. I don't mean to make any of that sound tragic. It's just life. The fact is: wild dreams are most easily followed by the unattached, the unencumbered, the young–people like James Coker and Marshall Stratton who are jumping through every hoop to ensure their shot at doing what they love is aimed as precisely as fate will allow. If only things were as carefree as they are for The Other Kennedys. Alas, Coker and Stratton will have to get by on being funny and the hope that they're lucky, too. Whatever the outcome of their quest, they should always be sure to rock those dope-ass Yale crew necks every step of the way. READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Happy Town'

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Happy Town could've been dead on arrival. Had creator/director/DP/editor/producer/Vitruvian film dude Jon Mayer not turned his passion papers into a passion project, this would've read like just another tale of Millennial ennui in the big city. "Great," every agent would've said. "Do you have anything a little more 'mainstreamy?'" Instead, Mayer worked to bring it off the page and onto MacBook screens the City over. It hasn't achieved tremendous view success and it likely won't. What it has done is demonstrate Mayer's ability to breathe life in to a beautiful tapestry of true, acutely relatable moments, as series star Anu Valia turns the banal into the essential with a poise that makes me wonder why she's not on HBO a whole lot more. Happy Town is the perfect justification for web series. More than a path to virality, the digital arena allows motivated, talented creators to prove themselves, potentially redefining genres and winning worth for undertakings that Courier New just can't justify. READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: Just Add Water

I don't want to count the number of times I or someone I've interviewed for this column has given the advice "Just do it" when speaking about how to "break into the digital comedy space." It's been said a lot. So much, in fact, that it seems ridiculous–and kind of infuriating–to say again now. The thing is: that's the BEST tip and if people take it instead of getting hung up on perfection, they'll likely find that their game will be upped considerably in not much time at all. Take Loser Bar, a comedy duo that first appeared on This Week in Web Videos less than 6 months ago with this valiant yet low-fi effort. Less than one month after that release,  Just Add Water popped up on their channel. Is it a revolutionary idea? No. Is it very funny in a way that shows breakneck production progress and a pair who is honing their voice in a really exciting way by doing rather than wishing? Fucking A. Turns out we're not just blowing smoke around here.

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

 

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Self Conscious Workout'

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 11.21.43 PM"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." For some, it's an adage to live by. For Self Conscious Workout creators Rachel Laforest and Greg Stees, it's anathema — a creative roadblock that they're dedicated to rising above on their almost masochistic quest to challenge and reinvent themselves. In a digital landscape where truly funny original ideas are difficult to come by–and even harder to manufacture — the prolific team is turning a blind eye to the comfort of sticking with a sure thing, all in service of an art they're quickly mastering. READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Assassin Banana'

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Casting celebrities does not a good project make, and thinking otherwise is a huge mistake. That's my web video rhyme. Seriously, though. Too many creators think that all they need to do to send a project into the stratosphere is attach a recognizable name, and that's so misguided. Celebrities, just like any talented performers, are great when they have great material. The key to making the most of talent like Scarlett Johanson or even Will Sasso is creating a project that can stand on its own two feet– or banana peels as the case may be–without them and then presenting it confidently to the famous folks you hope can help give your masterpiece its proper, deserved due. Banking on big names to save something from obscurity will never work. Success is driven by passion first, and the people on the marquis should come a distant second. If you build it, they may come, and if they don't, you've still got something worthy of the world's attention. Just ask Assassin Banana co-creator Jordan Rozansky. Well, we asked him, but you can read about it. Here… READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'The Truth About Meeting a Woman'

Sorry PewDiePie, but I prefer Paul Gale. Against a tidal wave of pre-teens clamoring for daily web cam soliloquies, I prefer the YouTuber who not only has the courage to make traditional entertainment in a cutting edge space, but also the skill and, even more than that, the concentration. In a growing digital terrain sanctioned by more and more advertisers looking to make fast, cheap, "viral" commentary on what's happening now now now, web creators are incentivized to sell their visions short. Gale, somehow, is unwavering in his pure pursuit of making his own, unfettered inspiration come to life. He's leveraging YouTube in a way so few others can — or dare to — and chasing the long haul of art in the face of this afternoon's opportunity. The encouraging part is: he's getting millions and millions of views in the process. So much for the "art vs. money" conundrum. And again, my apologies to PewDiePie.

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Dad Rap'


Sam Reece and Becky Chicoine are many things. They're humans, they're women, they're writer/creator/actors, and…AND they're really funny.  Perhaps most of all, though, Sam Reece and Becky Chicoine are Girls with Brown Hair. What does that mean? Well, first, it means they're brunettes. Obviously. Like…what? Obviously. It also means they're the duo responsible for an impressive cache of smart, well-written web comedy that's not getting its due. With just 138 channel subscribers, Sam and Becky are a prime example of top-tier talent being beaten down by the noise of YouTube make-up tutorials. Luckily, Splitsider's here and we've got a promise to make you: once you watch Sam and Becky's infectious Dad Rap — in which the Girls reprise two spot-on upper middle class dad characters from their series No I Can Do It, Let Me Try — your day will be irreversibly brightened. Then you'll watch Dad Rap again, and again, and again. Seriously, though, if your day isn't brightened, come at us (in a friendly, non-threatening way).

Luke is a writer/director for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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This Week in Web Videos: 5 Absurd One-Offs You Need to See

fivevideosIt's no secret that I'm a lover of the absurd. Or maybe it is. Maybe it was, I should say. It shouldn't be anymore since I just told you. Anyway, here are 5 ridiculous one-off videos that I've been meaning to post for a while. I think it's quite important that you all take a few moments to watch them all. I promise you'll feel better after. READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'Business Time'

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.54.22 PMAs creatives, we're encouraged to think outside the box, prompted with loosey goosey questions like "If you could make anything in the world, what would you make?" and "What happens when you take away all the barriers?" These are great thought exercises, usually propagated by drama teachers with flowing scarves and extreme halitosis, but the hard truth of the matter is: real world creativity has a limit…and it's always green. Yet, stunning creative feats can still be accomplished if the artist is talented enough to work within the confines of limited resources. In fact, it is often under these circumstances that the simplest and most laudable ideas are born. Anyone can make something cool with all the money in the world. Few can no it with next to none. Just ask Alex Herrald, creator and star of Business Time and a most strategic creative mind. READ MORE

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This Week in Web Videos: 'The Return of Saturn'

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 9.34.09 PMHappy 2015, everybody! Are you feeling reborn? Are you feeling resolute? Are you feeling insatiably horny? Good, me neither. Well, I'm kind of horny but that comes and goes. I'm also inspired after speaking with Abby Holland, writer and creator of The Return of Saturn (mightily directed and edited by Geoffrey Stevens). Motivated by a hard time in her life, Abby turned to creating as a therapeutic outlet…as many artists do. In the process, she achieved what many artists cannot, an honest picture of a life in the throes of crisis. She took a risk in putting her whole self out for the world to see and ended up with a brave series that's as funny as it is crushing. Most of all, her efforts teach an important lesson: No matter what happens this year — good or bad — every single experience can be turned into a comedic positive if you're willing to go balls (or vaginas) out. READ MORE