‘Legend of Neil’ Finale Closes Chapter in Web Comedy

By 10/27/2010
‘Legend of Neil’ Finale Closes Chapter in Web Comedy

They took the Seinfeld way out. Finish while you’re on top. And that they did.

Today the series finale (above) of Atom’s long-running hit comedy The Legend of Neil hits the internet after a special screening of the 21-minute finale in downtown Los Angeles last night. We knew this day was coming, and even counting down to it doesn’t make it any easier. This one goes way back for us at Tubefilter.

For me, this is the end of an era in web series. Not that no one will ever center a comedy of 80’s pop references around a video game again—no it will happen—but this kind of all star team doesn’t exactly come around every day. Let’s not drop into full board comps to the gold medal winning 1992 Dream Team, but here’s a web series that has Felicia Day on its roster but equally touts stars like visual effects wizard Sevan Najarian, production designer Greg Aronowitz and a pitch perfect core cast of Tony Janning, Mike Rose, Scott Chernoff and Eric Acosta. And let’s not forget creator-director Sandeep Parikh.

There will be a day when we say goodbye to The Guild too. That day might really close a chapter in web series history. The circa 2007 generation of web series that saw the rise of the video portals and the boom in online video consumption, growing with the medium in a one-upping of themselves season after season. And the viewers kept clamoring for more—it remains one of the Streamy’s most-nominated series to date.

Now, as fans of The Legend of Neil, we are left with favorite moments, like the raunchy musical episode in Season 2, the Office spoof in Season 3 and of course the pentultimate of 80’s sports references, the Hero training montage.

In July we sat down with Parikh to talk about life after Neil. (Well worth another read.)

The television and web worlds are colliding and it’s kind of chaotic which is great for someone like me. Amongst the rubble, new models will arise, and myself and my peers will be the ones to create those models for programming. It’s rare to get to be a part of something new, new paradigms. … I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. (Sandeep Parikh)

Now with a blind-script deal with Comedy Central, due in no small part to the success of The Legend of Neil on the network’s online comedy hub (Atom), Parikh will be shifting into crafting a television pilot. But that doesn’t mean the web has seen the last of him. “I’m very excited to be able to throw my hat in the television ring,” added Parikh. ” Do not doubt that I will continue to create for the web even as I write this script for television.”

We are left wondering what will be the next multi-season tentpole for Atom, with no clear successor in sight. At three seasons online and numerous appearances on Atom’s late night block on parent network Comedy Central, The Legend of Neil became synonomous with the brand of Atom. It’s smarter-than-you raunch humor was the site’s humor.

To make re-watching the entire Legend of Neil saga at once, Atom has conveniently whipped up a player that does just that. So put on your headphones lean back a little. This is going to be fun…