New media sketch comedy is one of many formats that UPP Studios tackles. In an attempt to hit the new media landscape hard, UPP Studios wants to bring comedy to its viewership in the most popular format and medium. Currently, that is sketch comedy on the Internet. Research suggests that more people go online and watch individual sketch comedy bits than late night shows like Jimmy Fallon. In fact, most people view the sketches from the internet, rather than tune in for a full broadcast. Furthermore, shows geared towards the sketch comedy format, like SNL and Key & Peele, are finding more of their viewers are watching their content on internet rather than on television, where the content originates.
In 2003, the Upright Citizens' Brigade (UCB) theater opened in its second official and current (and most notorious) location in Chelsea, New York in the former maverick theater playing off of the popularity of the UCB television show. These live shows were very inexpensive and, sometimes, even free. This was done by design, not by mistake. The concept by which the theater existed and thrived, boiled down to one line: comedy for the masses. Founders of the UCB theater, and stars of the UCB television show, Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh (aka the UCB 4), wanted to make their comedy accessible so that everyone, regardless of age, social, or economic standing, could partake and enjoy. While most of the comedy that came through the theater was improvisational in nature, no format was turned away, allowing for stand-up, live sketch comedy and even sketch comedy videos projected on a screen for a live audience to view. UPP Studios founders admired the concept of comedy for the masses and adopted it, (instead of an improv foundation with other formats trickled in, a sketch comedy foundation with other formats trickled in) releasing a new sketch comedy video every Monday on the UPP Studios YouTube channel and the UPP Studios website, freely available to anyone in the world. As the UCB has become synonymous with improvised comedy, the hope, is that UPP Studios will one day be synonymous with sketch comedy, amongst other things.
Chris & Harry | A New Media Sketch Comedy Production
This past Monday, UPP Studios released another piece of new media content: a sketch comedy video entitled "Chris & Harry". After releasing the first season of the original web series "Actpartment", UPP Studios began releasing sketch comedy videos in the sketches section of its website. With a new sketch comedy video being released every Monday, the content is going to be abundant, and quite diverse. While Chris & Harry, are relatively normal, grounded characters, as more sketches are released, viewers will see a wide range of more outrageous, outlandish and zany characters. Although each sketch is able to stand as its own, many of the characters presented in these sketches will reappear, not only in a continuation of an already established sketch, but UPP Studios also ultimately hopes to have characters from one sketch interact with characters from another, revealing a larger world where all of these characters are seemingly collectively housed. This intermingling of the characters is reminiscent of techniques you might see on the brilliant sketch comedy show "Mr. Show", released in 1995 on HBO, hosted by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. Cross and Odenkirk impressively and seamlessly tied the four seasons of Mr. Show together in a way that would suggest (as impossible as it may seem) that the entirety of the show, every sketch over the course of those four seasons, was premeditated. UPP Studios hopes to emulate the best parts of this concept to bring its viewers something that is not only fun, but hopefully interesting and impressive as well.