BH Interview: Comedy Duo Hones the Fine Art of Making Viral Videos
More people have seen Fatawesome's "Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend" comedy short than watch the average episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
The clip caught fire on YouTube late last month, and the folks over at NBC's "Today" featured it on Monday.
Yet the Mass.-based duo isn't on a TV set near you. Not yet, at least.
Fatawesome's latest video debuted on YouTube the day before Thanksgiving and quickly ran up more than a million hits. The clip's tally to date? North of 4.5 million views.
The joke is blissfully simple, comparing how cats and dogs behave in a silly yet inspired fashion. It's what Jimmy Craig and Justin Parker of Billerica, Mass. have been doing ever since comparing comedy notes in high school - creating absurd humor videos with an edge.
"We made this intentionally to go viral. Our goal is to work in television, and every project we release we try to take a step toward that goal," Craig tells Big Hollywood.
Craig says the duo's other videos tend to be less mainstream friendly, like "How to Hang Out with Black People."
Fatawesome's videos have gone viral before, but their current success is unprecedented for them. Their work appears on Cracked.com as well as Funnyordie.com, and they also do stand-up comedy and online comics.
The pair have a basic humor pact that has served them well so far.
"If Justin and I agree on something ... we drop what we’re doing and we film it," Craig says.
The duo's web site sets out their agenda:
We make videos, comics, do standup, music, events, and anything else for attention. Please give us money to make a TV show or a movie. This is our job and there’s no backup plan.
They understand they've entered relatively uncharted territory. They wouldn't be the first performers to parlay Internet infamy into the real deal. Just ask Justin Bieber how that can work out. Then again, anyone with a laptop and a cute cat can, in theory, create the next viral video without a scrap of talent.
"You can’t solicit to an agent. You have to hope that you make something that someone sees and passes it along to an agent," Parker says. "The goal is to keep trying to make things as big as possible."
The feedback from their latest video does offer some comfort.
"We had a lot of interesting responses from people," Craig says. "Someone from Italy sent a transcript of the video in Italian for us to upload ... the deaf community asked for closed captions."