Will Ferrell’s pitch-perfect impersonation of Inside the Actor Studio host James Lipton has set the bar high for parodies of actor interview shows. In a new series on Funny or Die, comedian John Ramsey has brought his own spin to the ‘genre’. Ramsey is the creator and host of The Early Works, which examines celebrity home movies as if they were artsy independent films.
The first guest on The Early Works is Nick Kroll (of The League fame), who walks through his 1982 debut, Kroll Family Get-Together, with Ramsey’s help. The result is a hilariously poignant send-up of the stuffy, overanalyzed, hoity-toity nature of art films and the directors and actors who create them. The best part is a long analysis of the Frisbee with which toddler Kroll is playing with during the home movie, but there are many silly comparisons placed throughout the 3-and-a-half minute video.
Creator interview shows are becoming very popular in the web series world, and as series such as In Focus and Becoming roll along, we’ve seen plenty of tongue-in-cheek renditions of the same stylistic choices (Geeking Out With Kerri Doherty comes to mind). Even beyond its main joke, The Early Works drives a little extra humor out of the format itself, best exemplified by the end of the video where Ramsey and Kroll can’t stop thanking each other.
Ramsey, a comedian based in Austin, Texas, previously created Home Video Commentaries, a similar series where he creates the same type of hokey DVD commentary about home videos (presumably from his own childhood). Those mocking videos got a decent number of hits on YouTube, and the presence of Kroll should allow The Early Works to get a decent amount of recognition as well. I’m not sure what toddler Nick Kroll would think about his newfound celebrity, but I’m sure it would involve a lot of symbols.