10 Comics to Watch
Who: The Gotham-based sketch quartet includes Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Jason Woliner.
A veteran improv performer, Scheer teamed with fellow thesp Huebel and Aspen award-winning standup Ansari at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade.
Through stints at Ansari’s weekly UCB show, “Crash Test,” the threesome honed their satirical act and created recurring characters that Ansari succinctly describes as “idiots with high status.”
“Scheer and Huebel have worked together for a long time, and they’re just so good together,” says UCB artistic director Anthony King. “Aziz brings in his own thing, but he fits right in perfectly.”
Soon, helmer Jason Woliner came on board, and the newly monikered Human Giant began to expand its sketches into short films.
One of these was “Shutterbugs,” a Channel 102 pilot featuring Ansari and Huebel as the proprietors of a talent agency for preschoolers.
Sharp and, at times, gloriously offensive, the pilot and its two sequels found a considerable viral audience on MySpace and YouTube. (Ansari’s advice to a young Korean tyke: “Why don’t you call us back when you’re not Asian?”)
As for the group’s moniker and silhouette logo, both were inspired by big bald actor Michael Clarke Duncan.
“We were so enamored with Michael Clarke Duncan, but we didn’t know if he’d find it funny or be freaked out,” says Scheer, with a faint tremor in his voice. “If he’s not satisfied, he could just break us.”
Takes: Scheer: “The most success we’ve had has just been from us doing our own thing, doing whatever makes us laugh.”
Huebel: “Like ‘Shutterbugs,’ it’s really just us being assholes to little kids, and we think that’s hilarious.”