10 Comics to Watch
Who: The sketch group met in a spillover dormitory in Brooklyn in 2000. Made up of Trevor Moore, Darren Trumeter Jr., Sam Brown, Zach Cregger and Timmy Williams, The Whitest Kids come from all over — South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts.
Their reputation for unpolished hit-or-miss hilarity precedes them around the NYC comedy circuit.
In 2005, after David Cross ended his popular sketch-show run of “Tinkle” at a club called Pianos in Manhattan, the guys were invited to fill the coveted slot.
They dreamed up a Sunday night show featuring audience interaction and various silly surprises.
“We do a sketch about somebody who finds out they have brain cancer,” Moore says. “They’re crying and horrible for about two minutes, then the waiter comes in and says they have a clam chowder that cures brain cancer.”
One of Cregger’s sketches has him on a date with a woman who refuses to chip in for dinner — he turns to the audience for moral support and a vote.
The group also makes short films — some studied at the School of Visual Arts — which are slightly more polished versions of their sketch work. Notable is a parody of an iconic pregnancy-test commercial — when the moment of truth arrives for the giddy young couple, it turns out that the woman has somehow mistaken her boyfriend’s ultraslim iPod Shuffle for the test stick and has urinated on that instead.
“The Whitest Kids are a completely different type of comedy,” says Jasper Coolidge, talent buyer at Pianos. “Word got around like wildfire. Time Out New York started writing about them. They became a happening on Sundays. “Upright Citizens Brigade and The Groundlings seem to me sort of contrived and pretentious and over-the-top,” Coolidge adds. “The Whitest Kids, they’re like us. It’s like hanging out in a room watching your friends telling jokes.”
What’s going on: The Kids won best sketch group at Aspen’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival 2006.
Cable TV’s Fuse Channel then signed the team to write and perform 10 episodes of a sketch series next season.
Individually, Moore and Cregger are writing a script for Paramount, which they plan to direct. The plot follows a basketball team into Armageddon.
Takes: Cregger: “Right now is a very exciting time for comedy, especially in New York. I’m seeing a lot of young comedians really step up and just do it.”
Moore: “I think our goal is to do a really great TV show for a couple of years and then do movies. Everyone can go do their own thing. But following the Monty Python plan, we’ll keep coming back together every couple of years.”