I realize I’m about to tread on some touchy territory but just hear me out. Maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little prejudiced when it comes to our entertainment choices, and it’s sort of understandable. Because pleasure is usually derived — especially in terms of comedy — from content we relate to, it makes sense that the more focused a particular piece of content is on situations endemic to a certain demographic (race, creed, age group, whatever), the better it’s going to hit within that group. That concept is kind of what the whole TV and advertising industries are founded on. “Oh, we’d like to target 35-year-old white women with this, so lets load up on jokes about Lululemon and ads for Luna bars?” and “Hmm, this is really more of an AA-targeted show. Yes, we say ‘AA’ when we mean African American — fun right?” and “Okay, to reach the Latino set, ages 18-34, we really need to be joking more about boisterous matriarchs in brightly colored house coats or low riders or something.”
It’s sad but, probably more often than we’d like to admit, the entertainment industry accurately guesses what we’ll respond to…because we’re all secretly, without even knowing it perhaps, a little prejudiced. In order to bust out of that mold, to become less predictable, less easily manipulated by brand algorithms, we need new material that crosses demographic lines and appeals to us on a more universally human level. “It’s not funny because they mentioned a stereotype I should be familiar with as a 25-year-old white male. It’s funny because it’s smart and good.”
Luckily, hope is not lost. Studio Heads, created by Mike Diaz, Jaime Fernandez, and Anthony Palmini, bodes well for a less segregated comedic future.
How did you get started in comedy?
Jaime: I started doing stand up around the City at a couple of spots and from that I ended up starting a sketch comedy group called Room 28. The main guy [Mike Diaz] who has the YouTube video in studio heads, he was in it, and we would do a lot of shows uptown. It was a lot of comedy like this; a lot of sketch that we were doing uptown and then I just kept writing and made a couple web series. From doing stand up, I got a manager so I’ve done some voice over’s because of that. I’ve been doing different kinds of comedy, stand up, sketch, then web series, and through doing all of those, I’ve gotten into writing more and my passion is really writing.
How did Studio Heads come about?
Jaime: Well the videos that Mike did in the studio, those ended up getting a lot of hits, and then we started hanging out together in the studio a lot, just doing bits and video things. Then we just thought that we have this one, stand alone environment of the studio that we keep going back to and we thought it’d be a good setting for a web series. A lot of different stories could come from just these two guys owning a studio in the city. That studio’s actually in this building uptown where, if you looked at the building, you really wouldn’t think that there could be a studio in there. It’s a kind of a ghetto looking apartment on the outside but then, on the inside, it’s this really nice studio. We really wanted to use the studio location as the basis for our web series and then, because we’re both looking to get into the entertainment field, we decided to make the characters like that, two people looking to get into the industry helping people do their thing but they also have their own aspirations. READ MORE