Ze Frank, Brown graduate with a degree in neuroscience, comedian, and Brooklyn resident, has had an enormous online presence since a short video of his dance moves made the rounds in 2001.
On March 17, 2006, Frank began The Show with Ze Frank, a project in interactive video content involving 3-minute clips posted every weekday for one year. Users were invited to take part in tasks, send in acts for Frank to perform, and play long-distance games with the comedian. “We have this incredible ability to communicate with each other. I want to play around with it, see what this mass audience is really capable of,” he explained to the LA Times. (He’s something of a media darling.) At its height, the show pulled in tens of thousands of viewers on a daily basis.
When not praising the web like a vlogging pundit, Ze mocked targets like George Bush, government surveillance, Republicanism, and unethical business practices. News and current events, scripted plays, featured introductions from fans, and bizarre experiments like asking viewers to help him turn Earth into a sandwich abound on the site, one of the most popular vlogging experiments to date.
Videos are manic, with heavy editing, repeated takes, vocal effects, a ton of inside jokes, and tight shots of Ze’s face, which has more than a passing resemblance to actor Greg Kinnear. There are also frequent references to rubber duckies and giant babies. Naturally. If all the random jokes, oblique references to nonexistent organizations, and continuous vlogging storylines begin to confuse you (and it’s bound to do that), the site’s Wiki is a welcome, comprehensive, and often necessary resource.
Though quite original on his own, what earned Ze some notoriety was his “Fabuloso Friday” scheme. After receiving some rather harsh comments on his comedy, he decided that Friday broadcasts would consist of reading a script written and edited by the audience members via Wiki. It only lasted for three Fridays, but they were sadistic delights, where interactive viewers could watch Ze say or do whatever had been demanded of him.