What is your personal favorite prank?
Oh wow. I think my personal favorite prank is probably … I think “Paranoid” is probably my favorite thing that I do. It’s because it is a lot more creative than just obviously like wearing a suit and kind of taking that route and like somebody stealing something or whatever. That’s cool, but I always had the intent with “Paranoid” to make sure that the person I was describing had no idea what I was up to in the world, so I would just dress like a normal guy. Who am I talking to? Why am I describing them picking out strawberries and putting stuff back on the shelf? It’s just weird, you know. The reactions I get from “Paranoid” are really, really funny, and I’ll probably always keep doing that bit because I really, really like it.
Who are some of your favorite collaborators that you’ve worked with?
JV: That I’ve personally worked with, I think that I had a real fun time collaborating with Roman Atwood. Him and Dennis are really, really fun to work with. Probably my number one favorite guy that I work with right now is Tom Mabe, “Mabe in America.” He just recently started growing really fast, and I have to tell you, before YouTube I bought Tom Mabe’s prank call CDs and he was like– [random woman yelling in the background] let’s just listen to this for a while.
Random woman: Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?
JV: No! No!
Random woman: Fuck you!
JV: Hey! Hey, tone it down just a little bit.
Random man: Hey, we’re trying to have a bible study.
JV: That doesn’t sound like it to me, you know what I mean?
You were talking about your best collaborator you’ve been working with.
Yeah, so “Mabe In America,” that’s his YouTube channel. His name is Tom Mabe. Turned out to be a really good friend of mine, but back way before YouTube he was known as one of the kings of prank calls because — now, prank calls, like everybody does prank calls and you get to watch them actually do the calls on YouTube videos, but back then you’d go out and buy a CD, pop it in the car, cassettes, remember those things? And he was just really funny guy. He was just a really funny guy. He would always prank call telemarketers and stuff. I drew a lot of inspiration comedically from Tom, and then through getting a YouTube channel and him getting a YouTube channel we connected, and now we get to work together. We did a bit called “The Blind Guy Prank,” and it was really funny. We just went around — he was kind of like telling me how to do stuff, and I had a cane and glasses, so we have a lot of fun together so I’ll say Tom Mabe. Definitely want to plug him. He’s great.
Do you guys see each other as good natured collaborators?
Yeah, ‘cause I’m married and I don’t — there is nothing — he wanted a little more, I’ll be honest with you, you know? And I’m married, I got kids and everything like that. He likes to experiment but I don’t.
That’s funny; I get that vibe from him. We did an interview with him last week.
He’ll go straight for the crotch if you’re not careful.
Not mine, but my camera guy. I’m not really his size or type.
That’s actually how I got the hole here [points at hole in crotch of pants] He really dug in there.
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Photography By Daniel Nguyen