Elevator, a weekly comedy series on HBO’s Runaway Box, uses the constraints of a web format to its advantage. Each short episode feels like a living comic strip, with minimal editing, music and effects, and the action is confined within the tiny space of an elevator car. Besides the predictably present office workers, you can catch ninjas, jousters, clowns, and the occasional overly graphic serenade. Sometimes awkward, occasionally surreal, and consistently funny, the show explores what can happen in the two minutes or less its characters find themselves on an elevator ride. [Ed. Note: RE: The video above, anyone else think Internet Commenter Series did this joke better?]
Nominated for a YouTube Award for best comedy series in 2007, Elevator boasts a dynamic cast and guest stars from comedian Dan Minz, Jack Coleman of Heroes fame, Jason Earles of Hannah Montana (you know you love it), and Melora Hardin (Jan from The Office). The series also frequently reaches out to other online sensations, featuring them in their episodes. Their most popular video, “Music,” guest stars YouTube musical sensation Ronald Jenkees who unveils his newest remix while posing as an elevator repairman. You can watch a bevy of popular web-lebrities, Nickynik, Charlestrippy and Mr. Safety, in a single episode (check out “Lights Out” if that’s your speed). Elevator creator Woody Tondorf might look familiar from his work as a creator/actor in The BC, an online spoof of The OC that he created while he was a student at Boston College.
Runaway Box is the comedy content arm of HBO’s web experiment HBOLab. Many of the actors pop up in each others’ series, so check out Man in the Box and Joke of the Day if you like what you see on Elevator. It seems HBO might have been vetting Tondorf to created more heavily promoted content, as he is behind the new HBOLab series Hooking Up, which will debut October 1st and features an all web-star cast. Until then, Runaway Box posts new episodes of Elevator every Thursday on its YouTube channel.