Chad, Matt, and Rob's 'Time Machine'

By 12/04/2008
Chad, Matt, and Rob's 'Time Machine'

Generally, judging objects by appearances (or in this case, a name) is a foolproof method for gauging the approximate substantial qualities of said objects. Thus, if I had not known any better (and I had not) I would’ve judged Chad, Matt & Rob by my own mental bookcover as three boring, ordinary frat boys making mediocre sketch comedy. Unfortunately, my tried and true method completely failed me here.

These four LA residents (Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Rob Polonsky, and Jonah Goldstein) have put together quite a portfolio of that rise high above their low-standard-setting name(s). Shall the children be punished for the sins of their fathers (or mothers)? No, no they shall not.

What have we here, then? Alien attack pranks gone awry, movie spoofs gone awry, innocent games of cops & robbers gone awry! Sure, it sounds textbook, but alas, fool me twice….These fine, upstanding (I’ll assume) young men possess a finely-honed sense of absurdity that matches their impeccable comedic timing.


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Quality writing aside, the fact that they are also reasonably skilled actors sets them apart from many of their peers. All three are equally capable playing the straight man or the buffoon, which keeps both the premises lively and the audience on its toes.

In addition to about a dozen shorts, Chad, Matt & Rob have also recently produced an ingenious choose-your-own-ending video adventureThe Time Machine.

Their story begins as several of their video shorts do: in a bland corporate office. Chad and Matt await Rob, who is late for a meeting, when suddenly he burst

s into the office chased by a legion of men-in-black. Rob has stolen their “time machine” and the G-men are here to get it back. (I won’t divulge what constitutes said “machine” though I can safely state that under normal circumstances getting into one of these will definitely bring you to a place you’d rather not go.) Trapped in an office closet, the only way for our heroic trio to escape now is climbing aboard….So are you going to put Matt and Chad in the machine or not?

Starting my own adventure, I sent the three on a journey where they landed in the past to face a dragon only to escape to a future where all three were killed by zombies. I don’t know about your conceptions of past and future, but this seems deadly accurate to me. The adventure template consists of scenes lasting about 2-3 minutes before you, the viewer, gets to decide which action you want the protagonists to follow.

Some paths will lead to further adventures while, true to form, some decisions will leave the young men “dead”. When you hit a dead end, they are gracious enough to allow you to go down the other path to see what happens further down that trail. I will admit that I didn’t find the adventure to be as funny as some of their short videos, but it’s still definitely highly amusing and was probably a really fun project for them to produce.

Clearly these guys are developing a successful “formula” because they’re starting to attract attention for their labors. I highly recommend checking out their shorts and for you to take a ride on The Time Machine. Hopefully they’ll do more projects like the latter, because they have the potential to create something above and beyond what they’ve already done.

Now, I get their name. It’s not boring. It’s simple and clever, just like their comedy, because how could you forget the names Chad, Matt & Rob?

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