Most people go to the zoo to look at all the animals, but with St. James Zoo all the entertainment lies with the zoo workers. It’s clear none of these crafty zoo workers really have any animal training, but that allows for more comedy. In fact, it’s pretty questionable how this hapless group of good-for-nothings ended up at the zoo in the first place, but the witty writing, and quickly paced series easily allows for the conceit. The show is an animal-lover’s Scrubs, set at a zoo and without Zach Braff’s annoying inner monologue, plus more politically incorrect humor that only a web-based show can get away with.
The talented cast of the show was assembled by Ben Grinnell and Ian Eastin of the Zoo Milk comedy. The pair have been involved in internet comedy for quite a while creating comedy virals, including my personal favorite, a series of faux commercials for actor Frank Labatte. See: Frank Labatte’s Accent Elimination Program. Their comedic talents landed them a spot as finalists in Yahoo’s talent contest last year.
The duo came up with the idea for St. James Zoo while living in Chicago. “The Lincoln Park Zoo kept appearing in the headlines after numerous animals mysteriously passed away,” say Grinnell. Inspired by the bizarre news, the two immediately picked up a camera and started shooting.
St. James Zoo can currently be viewed in its entirety as Grinnell and Eastin work to raise money for a TV pilot, which they shamelessy promote on their site devoted to fund raising watchtvc.com. In the meantime, the antics of the zoo crew are worth watching all at once. From a guy on parole who makes side money as a zoo babysitter, to a very insulting zoo tour for Asians, this show is enjoyably offensively funny.