Joey Manderino, 21, and David Young, 24, spent their high school years in Munster, Ind., filming comedy videos together. After going separate ways to college, the friends reunited in New York with the plan to create a Web site full of skits just like the ones they made as kids.
With the TV networks and tenpercenteries in a post-Andy Samberg-era rush to mine viral vid gold, the duo have captured the attention of bloggers and college humor sites with JoeyandDavid.com.
In one of their shorts, the pair — who often cast themselves as roommates with ambiguous sexual orientations — adopt an African boy named Babembe through a sponsorship program. Oblivious to the fact that “the boy” is actually a cardboard standee of an impoverished child, the couple cart him around New York through various mock-melodramatic adventures, even enrolling him in a public school. Money line: “Principal Throckmorton, are you saying there’s some sort of problem with our son?”
Many of their vids are satirical commercials, lampooning everything from automotive spots (“14 Days in a Civic” is a little self-referential gem that features Manderino attempting to parody a Nissan ad as his parents’ marriage collapses in the background) to feminine hygiene promotion (Douche-up!, anyone?). One of the pair’s more popular — and “pushing-it” — offerings is “eHarmony’s Minor Matchmaker,” which promotes an online dating service for — you guessed it — pedophiles.
“The cool thing about the Internet is that we are our only censors,” Young says. “But on the Internet, people heckle until you want to curl up in a ball and cry — it’s that democratic.”
“We’re putting ourselves out there with a huge audience and we’re developing a few characters on the Web site for the world to see,” Manderino adds.
Buzz: After spurring online chatter, the pair attracted the attention of TV execs. Soon after, agencies were courting the pair, with CAA ultimately winning out.
An appearance at Aspen this year will mark the comics’ first live-performance foray, combining their commercial parodies with in-person theatrics. “It’s a multimedia show that has live elements as well as video elements,” Manderino explains.
Beyond that, Manderino is still finishing up his final semester at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts while David is working at Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”
References: “I watch a lot of stuff online and I just got them right away,” says U.S. Comedy Arts Festival senior producer Kirsten Ames, who signed the pair to appear in Aspen. “I found that their videos were so imaginative and so well executed that I just believed these guys could do it.”
Fallback plan: If nothing pans out, the comics say they’ll move back in with their parents. “And we would definitely not speak to each other again,” Manderino says.