Well, this is my first column ever.
Let me begin my premiere Laugh at This adventure by saying that there are a lot of things in the comedy world that are funny. In this age of Nick Cage and web pages, hilarious things are everywhere. Literally everywhere! With the Internet at every comedian’s fingertips, jokes and sketches and stand up routines can be immortalized and shared with the world in the time it takes to click a mouse. But in case you haven’t already figured this out while surfing Yahoo! Answers or www.ratemypoo.com, there is a lot of very stupid, very unfunny stuff going on in the world today. Especially on the internet. So I want to make a promise to you that I will do my absolute best to steer clear of these sorts of dumb things and help guide you to safety in this crazy and occasionally funny world. I will be to you as Shadow is to Sassy and Chance in Homeward Bound, except I am not a dog and I hope you are not one either because if you are, please get off the computer and go fetch someone’s slippers or chew on my mom’s briefcase or something.
Now that that blood oath is out of the way, I want to use this first post to tell you about a pair of guys whom I absolutely love – and I think anyone who likes to giggle a lot will love too! BriTANick is a comedy duo based in New York who have established themselves as a prominent internet presence with a slew of videos they post on their website, www.britanick.com. You may have seen some of their more popular sketches like, Eagles Are Turning People Into Horses or Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer. People love to post that stuff on Facebook.
There are a lot of sketch comedy groups that post videos online. Troupes from schools like NYU and Northwestern spew out these amusing broadcasts like vomit from a very intoxicated or bulimic person. With so many funny things floating around on the internet, preserved forever in its crushing technological embrace, it often seems that every joke, every funny idea, every possible formula for a sketch, has already been used up. So it is incredibly refreshing to come upon a group like BriTANick that is so delightfully weird and silly that they somehow manage to stand out amid a sea of recycled comedic material.
Their sketches are quirky to say the least. I don’t want to give too much away, but check out videos like The Coach, The Kiss, or Bathroom Pep Talk if you want to see what I’m talking about. These little nuggets of joy combine classic sketch comedy techniques and structure with the writers’ absurd imaginations, culminating in ridiculous, well-crafted situations that leave you wondering how they possibly came to put all the elements together. (Think poop, Joss Whedon, and bird-men all in one sketch.) Their jokes sometimes take a second viewing to fully appreciate. They don’t always spoonfeed you the punch line. They are not afraid to freak you out a little, but they always bring it home in the end. These two comedians demand that their audience keep up with them on their winding and sometimes preposterous journey through comedy, but trust me, it is rewarding if you do so.
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this discussion of BriTANick, it’s that these lads demonstrate that it is very much okay to be weird and risky and experimental in comedy. Yes you can write a sketch that incorporates bird-men, Joss Whedon, and poop. Yes you can take your comedic material to a very dark and somewhat jolting place and still find a sense of reality and humor in it. Yes you can be self-deprecating and perform to your highest intelligence at the same time. To be honest, I am tired of seeing comedians try to sell the same shticks about sex, race, and “gross-out-subjects” in order to get laughs. Not to say that any of those topics should be avoided – just that relying on them entirely is old and boring and often uncomfortable (see Bob Saget or Lisa Lampanelli’s stand up if you want to experience this). BriTANick manages to represent itself as a high quality sketch group with fresh ideas and silly, yet sophisticated humor. Seriously, just go watch some. It’s worth it.