Honor Student are a Los Angeles based comedy group primarily comprised of the trio David Neher, Matt Villines, and Oz, with half a dozen or more young performers orbiting around them. Since at least February 2006, the group has showcased its short films, music videos, a handful of advertisements, and regular updates, while the beginning of 2007 has seen the group’s work featured and promoted on Super Deluxe.
Even from the group’s relatively small output, one can gauge itscomedic growth. The films have gradually mutated from longish shorts like Fishbowl and Elton and Jack, possessing quirky Wes Anderson-esque narratives and characters, to briefer, more absurdist and sexual sketches, like Boobs and Double Date. The latter demonstrate Honor Student’s strengths: starting with a seemingly pedestrian concept (a man grows breasts, a friendly dinner turns suggestive) and running with it to the furthest extremes of irrational silliness. Music videos for experimental punk band The Mae Shi get by on breezy charm, while a couple of witty, innovative advertisements (one for Super Deluxe that mocks Girls Gone Wild, another for Geico featuring a man with a briefcase for a head) compact the Honor Student style into even punchier packages.
Second installments of Honor Student’s presumably ongoing Ulysses S. Grant and Chasing Donovan series are simply hilarious, jam-packed with the sort of non sequiturs and exaggerated performances that would make the State and Upright Citizens Brigade proud. “Chasing Donovan” stars Neher as a dorky college student whose poetry teacher comes on to him, a premise that somehow allows for practicing sword fighting on watermelons, classroom riots, and a car bombing. In “Ulysses” the 18th President is a motorcycle-riding sociopath expressing his desire for anonymity in the modern world by belting a power ballad, “Don’t Recognize Me,” replete with an endless drum solo and lyrics about tormenting “demon babies.” See it to believe it.