What would it be like to be a professional house sitter? Who cares? What would it be like to be a house sitter who only house sits for famous Hollywood celebs? Now, that might be a little bit more interesting.
That’s the premise that’s explored in The House Sitter, an oldschool web serial from way back in 2006 created by Sarah Norton (GILF and Keep it Green) and her partner Paul Vato of BarrioSpeedwagon.tv, in which Sarah plays a professional house sitter to the stars.
Basically, Norton and Vato teamed up with four of their celebrity friends – Mo Collins from Mad TV, David Faustino from Married with Children and the upcoming Crackle series Starving, Drew Droege who appeared in Comedy Central’s Halfway Home and is currently an improv instructor with the Groundlings, and Wendi McClendon-Covey from Reno 911! – for a series where self-important stars get to self-deprecate.
The good: Because The House Sitter relies heavily on improv, the quality of an episode will largely depend on whose house is being sat. The episode with Mo Collins is good because Mo Collins is good. She plays a completely believable precocious celebrity and throws out off of the wall one liners – “If I can’t do my comedy then America suffers.” – with perfect timing to keep you in the moment.
The episode with David Faustino entertains because Faustino, bare chested and sporting some bitchin’ Elvis shades, is great. He has an obvious knack for not taking his celebrity status too seriously, which you can sense when he refers to himself in the third person and shouts lines like, “What do you mean they’re gonna say no, I’m Bud f@!cking Bundy for Christ sake.” The scene where him Sarah awkwardly sit in the shower/steam room waiting forever for actual steam is one of the best moments in the series.
The meh: The episodes with Wendi McClendon-Covey and Drew Droege are just a step above meh. Maybe its character recognition, as in I don’t really know these two actors’ work so I’m not familiar with their shticks. But Wendi being neurotic over her garden gnome collection and rare Scottish Fold cats fell flat. Time after time you could see the wheels spinning in Droege’s head as he tried to think of something funny to say. There were just too many pauses and non-words that stopped the episode from finding its footing.
Sarah, however, is great in all the installments. She plays off of celebs well, acting interested in everything they say, graciously accommodating them in all of their pretentious and bizarre ways, only to turn a head and role her eyes when not being watched.
So, as I said, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Some laugh out loud moments mixed with ones not so engaging. Such is the risk associated with improv comedy. Watch and enjoy the Mo Collins episode and the David Faustino episode. If you’re into Drew Droege or Wendi McClendon-Covey go ahead and check out their episodes as well. Maybe you can pick up on something I missed.