Jason Mraz’s music usually makes me think of puppy dogs and sun kissed beach days, but with the launch of his new web series, Grati-Tube this boy next door shows he’s got a funny side, and he’s not afraid to make fun of himself.
The show launched to help promote his upcoming Gratitude Cafe Tour which is branded with an image of the pop star in prayerful and grateful stance, quite the contrast to the order-spouting dude who thinks nothing of dishonest assistant abuse in Grati-Tube. The image and personality dichotomy seem to unabashedly enjoy making fun of a man who definitely until now has seemed like Mr. Nice Guy.
Eric Schwartz, aka Smooth-e co-created the show with Mraz, and also plays the aforementioned abused assistant. We caught up with him via email to get the scoop. Schwartz teases there may be a kung-fu show down between boss and master in one of the upcoming five episodes.
As it turns out, Schwartz and Mraz are actually long-time friends instead of mortal enemies. “Jason and I first crossed paths on the Los Angeles coffeehouse scene at the turn of the millennium. I would perform my stand-up with a musical twist, while he performed his brilliant music, often with a comedic twist,” says Schwartz.
“We would join forces on stage for freestyle sessions with his buddy Bushwalla, who is also on Jason’s Gratitude Cafe Tour this summer. Needless to say, we turned that crowd upside down… I got an email from him earlier this year about collaborating to promote the tour. We finally yinned our yangs to create “Grati-Tube!”
Schwartz is the first to admit Mraz is Mister Nice Guy. “When I tell people I am working with Jason, they always say the same thing: “OMG, I love him! I think the acronymn is due to the fact that Jason is a positive guy who rubs off on you in a good way–even if you don’t get to catch his toothpaste in your hand like I did.” Mraz is certain to gain a few more female fans who more easily fall in love with Mr. Not So Nice as Grati-Tube rolls out its mini season.