You get a sense of the happy+middle sketch group’s humor when reading its website’s disgruntled, sarcastic slogans like “Happy is my middle name” and “Are you happy now?” Produced by Bigfoot Productions and a part of the Delta Park Project, the Portland-based group (Jason, Buffie, Ash, Anna, Christine, and Ted) collaborate to write, direct, and perform this short-form, social satire comedy show about contemporary culture and current events.
The brief comedic episodes, which are one to five-minutes long, tend to be in response to world and entertainment events. Sparked by a video produced by Misdirected, which campaigns for a fake candidate named Maimunkie (pronounced “my monkey”), the group made two new videos, one supporting the candidate’s competition, Stan Fernandez, and an attack ad against Maimunkie. A response to the widely satirized Snakes on a Plane advertises the use of Samuelite Luggage as a way to combat the slithery miscreants. Videos can be found in the blog or searched by tags like Behind the Scenes, Promos, and a This is Funny category that covers everything else. What sets this group’s site apart is an attention to detail. The site boasts both scripts from posted episodes and filmed bios for each cast member. There’s also a semi-hidden video which satisfies the need for behind-the-scenes content. A click on the “Meet the Cast” thumbnail for Fluffy, a stuffed bunny, links to a longer video chronicling the cast’s experience making the bios. Although the jokes aren’t as sharp and the episodes aren’t as regular as other sketch comedy groups on the web, the show has promise and a smart, geeky sense of humor.
The three-part Maimunkie vs. Fernandez series mocking the tone of the 2006 Congressional Elections is pretty entertaining. Though predictable, the Stop Maimunkie! commercial with quotes from outraged citizens that play on the canidate’s name is worth a watch.