One thing I love about ITVFest—which is still in full swing here in Los Angeles—is meeting new indie creators. At the Tubefilter / ITVFest Web TV Day After Party last night one such creator was Brandon Walters of Mother Approved Comedy. He carried some snappy postcards for his festival entry Phobias, a short comedy series screening as part of the festival’s Mobisodes track on Wednesday.
In minute-long sketches, the indie series explores actual phobias, those little quirks of the human condition that when observed in multiple cases, no matter how bizarre, get their own pseudo-scientific name. In fact there’s even a site dedicated to listing all of the known phobias (current count over 500). This is no phobias 101. It goes straight for the obscure—and comically rich—outliers.
Take Arachibutyrophobia, for example. Apparently there is a documented fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Really?
Each episode is set up for guessing the phobia by the viewer, much like a classic improv theater game, but brief enough not to belabor the joke. Even the stick figure monster attack in the animated intro is a phobia to be guessed. So far there are eight episodes released, with new ones on the way every week from Walters and his co-creator Kasi Brown.