Poking fun at Canadian stereotypes has paid off big for two Richmondites.
Jason Lucas and Matt Dennison became instant YouTube sensations with their video Canadians Say.
The two 20-year-old aspiring comedians video went viral with a million hits and the Internet world took notice.
It was featured on Perez Hiltons website, as well as on Yahoo and Huffington Post, said Dennison, a Burnett graduate of 2010. We realized we had something and decided to continue making videos.
That was late last winter.
Their site, IFHT, recently caught the attention of YouTubes Next Comic search. The Internet sensations are one of 16 teams worldwide, and the only Canadian team, to win YouTubes international campaign to help fund up-and-coming comedians.
The Richmondites won $5,000 worth of video equipment, $10,000 worth of advertising, as well as professional training and mentoring by successful comics at CollegeHumor and Glozell.
YouTube went through thousands of sites from budding comedians from all over the globe before selecting the winning 16.
It wasnt only the funnymens parodies of iconic Canadianisms such as the beaver, moose, eh and maple syrup that caught the attention of YouTubes Next Comic search. IFHT has between 60 to 70 videos, including one called Diablo, based on the popular video game Diablo III, that have garnered a lot of buzz.
That one was made a few months ago and it got nearly nine million hits, added Dennison.
Lucas added: When Diablo III was coming out, we thought what would Diablo be like if girls were in the game?
While comedians of the past got their start in smoky bars, these two are a new breed of comic who is garnering huge followings on YouTube their site has seen an astounding 14,190,000 hits and counting. Theyve also been busy on the television circuit; Monday morning, the two appeared on Global BCs morning show and last week they were chatting about their newfound fame on CTV.
Both said it keeps them busy trying to maintain that level of success.
They try to upload videos as often as possible, although with both of them working full time, they cant always reach their goal of one a week.
Its a lot of work, said Lucas, who graduated from Hugh Boyd. With two days of filming, editing and then uploading, its a part time job.
Forget that they have to find material to poke fun at.
Most of their inspiration comes from the same medium, which has made them hometown stars.
We look to what is trending on Twitter, Facebook and what people are talking about, said Lucas. Our premise is to make fun of stuff we hate parodies of music videos or everyday life one was about brushing your teeth, and you know when suddenly your toothbrush goes sideways and toothpaste is all over your face thats what we did a video about.
Lucas looks to Saturday Night Lives (SNL) for inspiration.
I love SNLs Andy Samberg and Dane Cook, they are brilliant comedians, Lucas said. However, I try not to watch too many others because we dont want to copy any material we need to be original
Last February, dressed in cat suits, the two made a parody of a hard core rapper.
We have two friends who videotape for us and other friends who write and record songs for us, added Dennison.
Typically, it costs them a few hundreds dollars and lots of hours of acting, editing and videotaping.
The best part of their small time fame, as Lucas dubs it, is a little money in our pockets.
The two are also attracting advertisers to their site.
I remember when we got our first cheque about a year and a half ago for $100, we split $50 each, he said. That was like huge for us. Now, we get cheques every month for doing something we love.
Their latest release is a lost audition tape for the hit television show, Big Brother.
We made it as a 1980s quality video and its a bunch of stereotypical guys and girls auditioning for the show, said Lucas, adding most videos are two to three minutes in length. We got the idea because we heard the show is actually coming to Canada.
Lucas said the comedic bug hit him in high school. Bored with homework, Lucas was always trying to make his classmates laugh. His love of comedy frustrated more than one teacher, he quipped.
Dennison went on to say: I have to admit I was a better student than Jason, but I was also the class clown.
Both hope to parlay their newfound Internet fame into careers as television comics and/or actors.
In the short term, both would love to make a full-time career out of making funny videos. Long-term, Lucas and Dennison want to be household names.