After watching Aziz Ansari’s brilliant cameo in the fantastic Channel 101 series, Water an Power, I was reminded of his classic webshow that put him on my map of Comedy Town.
Before Human Giant was Human Giant, when Rob Huebel was “inconsiderate cellphone man,” Paul Scheer wasn’t on Best Week Ever, and Ansari hadn’t scored a role on The Office spinoff, the three played cutthroat, douchebag agents to infant Hollywood stars in Shutterbugs.
With names that belie their ethnicity and a client roster comprised solely of child actors (mainly under the age of 5), Bill (Ansari) and Samir (Huebel) make no friends in this ruthless world of kinder-talent super-agents.
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When the Sugarplumbs – a competing agency comprised of Nasim (Scheer) and Steve (Ali Reeza) – are eager to scoop up toddler clients with false promises of ice cream and candy (“You want candy? I got a guy at Snickers I could call tomorrow!”) and veiled guarantees of diaper endorsements, you have to play rough.
In the first episode, share in the pure joy as the Shutterbugs rip one of their five year old clients a new one (“Get your ass off our couch! Get your shit and get out of here!”), and swoon the merits of their versatile, pint-sized star Cody Austin, who goes to such method acting lengths as gaining 200 lbs. and getting a swastika tattoo for a part as a Nazi prison gaurd in order to live the role.
In each of the four episodes (the series was a fan favorite, but the creators decided to self-cancel by exceeding Channel 101‘s five-minute time limit), Bill and Samir make Entourage’s Ari Gold look like a Mother Theresa. As they high-five to their callous deeds and pimp the merits of clients who insist on being in movies where they don’t have to wear shoes, the premise of treating infants like adults never grows old.
“Why don’t you call us back when YOU’RE NOT ASIAN! Get the f@%# out of Shutterbugs!” could’ve easily been the next big catch-phrase, right up there with “Let’s hug it out.”
In the last episode, the Shutterbugs get killed off by an embittered, gun-toting child actor (who also happens to be Asian), but once Human Giant got a gig with MTV, they resuscitated the series for two more installments. In the most ambitious Shutterbugs episodes yet, we see the real mastermind behind the agency and find out why Bill and Samir must resort to repping canines.
When Human Giant starts another season on MTV, or the crew grows nostalgic of their good old days on the web, hopefully we’ll see some more of Shutterbugs.