Michael Cera and Derek Waters are funny.
If Cera’s portrayal of the awkwardly reserved George Michael in Arrested Development doesn’t make you laugh, and the behind-the-scenes depiction of a writing duo whose relationship degenerates into a hostile codependency in the mockumentary Clark and Michael (Tilzy.TV page) isn’t convincing you, and Waters representation as one-half of another co-dependent friendship that specializes in womanizing without significant results in Derek and Simon doesn’t do the trick, this clip will:
Mark Gagliardi doing his best David Hasselhoff and slurring his way through Drunk History Vol. 1 while the period actors mimic his whiskeyed lesson plan and narration is worth a watch or two. But what makes me smile the most isn’t the video, it’s the thought that these young, creative kids are having fun creating ridiculously funny content for the sake of having fun creating ridiculously funny content.
Out of the foursome behind the short, I think the oldest is Waters, who IMDB tells me was born in 1979. Point being, all those involved are aged in or around new media’s sweetspot, and their stars are starting to rise along with the fact that the internet is becoming an increasingly viable medium for mainstream entertainment. Soon, the space will start to command serious money and will offer actors lucrative deals. But it will also always be a spot where those same actors can play around.
Now, when nearly any filmic person under 30 with a high-speed internet connection gets a creative epiphany and captures it on camera, the product gets automatically uploaded to YouTube. Comics of older generations didn’t have this luxury. They had to hit the bricks and mortar comedy club circuit to screw around and blow off creative steam. These Gen Yers don’t need no Second City or UCB to work out their artistic inclinations (though a number of them still perform there). They can do it all online.
This doesn’t herald “the end of TV as we knew it” (a lot of technological advancements need to happen before that takes place), it just shows how the sensibilities of artists are changing along with the modes of distribution. (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, and other older funny guys have fun online, too, but it’s mostly to promote their own ventures.)
The Lonely Island was an online video crew that blew up before YouTube hit the masses. Since then, its members haven’t looked back, creating a few incredibly awesome SNL shorts, a mildly bad movie, and no web videos of any significance. Michael Cera and Derek Waters are reaching acclaim when the video-sharing site is a household name. Now they’re contributing to the medium, just for kicks. Future Hollywood stars will do the same.