Cafe Witness

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dutch West. Jump On Now.

At Video on the Net, I preached the value of sustainable content. By and large, I was talking about episodic content, similar to traditional TV (or what we're already doing at Something to Be Desired).

But there's also value in sustainable skit comedy, as long as your ensemble is truly talented and your sense of humor is unlike anything else on the block. To succeed, you need to generate more than one good idea; you need a library of consistently buzz-worthy comedy.

Which brings me to Dutch West, the funniest web TV you've probably never seen.

Seriously. Stop everything you're doing right now and watch this.

I learned about them from the most recent episode of Viral on Veoh, which STBD did the lead-in for. One of the guys in the ensemble refers to them as "a garage band for comedy," which I think is an excellent way to approach it: find your own personal talent, find others who play in the same key (give or take), and riff.

The Dutch West writers / actors are incredibly talented. Each of them has the facility to portray multiple characters (over multiple age ranges). But what makes them truly special is their delivery, their attention to detail, their point of view.

Their production values are also extremely polished. These people understand story AND structure, camera angles and genre trappings -- and how to satirize all of it. Most importantly, they understand how to tell various TYPES of story, finding the (dark, intelligent, renegade) humor in everything from board meetings gone wrong to letting the army pay for college.

Admittedly, like most things I truly enjoy (MST3K [the Joel years], Achewood, Whit Stillman films), Dutch West is an acquired taste. Not everyone will be able to see the humor they find in racism and child molestation (by, um, Bigfoot...), for example, but those who do will spread the word because they'll realize: Dutch West GETS IT.

After watching a few of these clips, ask yourself: isn't THIS the kind of cutting-edge comedy we'd expect from, say, Saturday Night Live?

No wonder no one watches TV anymore...

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