Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, ‘cause they are about to be blown right off! Just for Laughs Gags Comedy and Roman Atwood’s Sketch Empire have teamed up to create original content that brings their unique comedic styles to one anothers’ channels.
Roman Atwood and Dennis Roady, the dual members of Roman Atwood’s Sketch Empire, are known on YouTube for their fast-paced and spontaneous run and gun pranking style, a style that could not be more different than that of Just For Laughs Gags, whose pranks are much more organized and production-heavy. The Sketch Empire duo and the cast of actors and actresses from Just For Laughs Gag will be appearing in each others’ videos, and they see their collaboration as a new way to entertain their respective subscriber bases with the other group’s distinct form of comedy.
After their first week of filming in Montreal, Roman Atwood’s Sketch Empire and Just for Laughs Gags jointly released their first of a series of videos onto YouTube yesterday. Three gents Roman, Dennis and Just for Laughs Gags’ Digital Director Carlos Pacheco talked with NMR about how they originally became involved in comedy, why YouTube has been a perfect platform for them to begin a comedy career and what viewers can anticipate from upcoming Roman Atwood and Just for Laughs Gags videos.
How would you describe Roman Atwood’s style as compared to Just For Laughs Gags’ style?
Roman Atwood: Completely opposite. Kind of like California weather and Canada weather [laughs].
Carlos Pacheco: I would say I like seeing the way Roman works. The way he works is very much run and shoot, run and gun type of prank, whereas Just for Laughs is much more production-heavy. We create, we organize, and our pranks turn out to be more elaborate. There is 13 years of pranking behind “Just For Laughs” so there is a lot of work that needs to be done comparatively. We’re not as quick as Roman and Dennis, but our stuff basically is a little bit more elaborate.
How will these videos be different than the content normally uploaded onto Just for Laughs Gags and Roman Atwood?
Dennis Roady: I think the mixture between the way we shoot is different. The way they look and feel, slightly different, the type of pranks they are is slightly different. I’m looking forward myself to seeing how they come out. For example, just the last larger production there were the resources available to do things at a higher skill than Roman and I can do. We were at the mall, and we had permission to go into the mall and do a striptease camera prank, whereas if Roman and I were to do that we would probably get run out of the mall in 10 minutes. In this prank we have the Just for Laughs Gags actors and actresses with us, and we go up to random people in the mall and ask them to take pictures with our cell phones, and it’s called “Striptease Camera Pranks” because our clothes are coming off as each picture is taken. The person taking the picture ends up reacting when they see this beautiful woman taking her shirt off in the mall, and they can’t believe it’s happening, or it’s an old guy, and he’s got a really big smile on his face. It’s cool because it’s not easy for us to do, and it’s something that Just for Laughs can make available but they’ve never done before. The two forces combined made this really neat, fun video. We come here, and Roman and I add our edginess and chaos that we do to their production.
Roman: The biggest difference between the collab is this is the first Just For Laughs video that’s funny [groups laughs].
Carlos: On our end we’ve got Roman and Dennis coming in and being part of the Gags way of filming. We do silent pranks with no real words, and there is like a laugh track and all that stuff, but in terms of difference, in terms of what we already do, it’s basically going to fit all our formula. The only thing is we’re a summer production company, so we don’t usually film during the winter. We’re usually in post-production and stuff like that, so it was sort of like one of my personal missions to get the machine back in here and get things going during the winter to create original content for the web. The thing is the Gags have always created content for TV, and we’ve repurposed that content on the web; this will be the first time ever that a prank will be made for the web by Just Laughs Gags.