The viral video sensation known as "Frustrated Video Dater Loses His Cool," "Crazed Video Dater," or "Dating Video Losers" has swept across the Net. Watch the video and read all about its origins below.
There is surprisingly a lot of debate on the Net about whether this video is "real" or "fake." That ambiguity and ensuing debate has certainly fueled the video's popularity.
The video originated from a homemade TV "pilot" shot in 1995 by Selected Hilarity Comedy Group, which consisted of four friends and me from the University of North Carolina. We were at the height of our popularity, touring cross-country literally as much as we wanted to. We had a lot of interest in production companies in NY and LA, and our agent thought it would be a good if we self-produced a sketch comedy show pilot to shop around (the soundness of that idea is certainly debatable).
Our idea was a show that would follow us around the country on tour. Each week would be from a different town on the road, and the show would combine "reality" style segments on the street, clips from the live performances, and pre-taped sketches. Keep in mind that in 1995 this concept was pretty far ahead of its time. I'm not sure our pilot approached that concept, but that was the idea.
Scott came up with the idea for the "frustrated video dater" sketch and stars in the sketch. I'm not sure where he got the inspiration, but hopefully he will share that in the comments section. We recorded the faux blooper from the "Casanova Dating Service" at the Student Television studio on the campus of UNC. The grainy film effect was added using the state-of-the art Commodore Amiga 2000 Video Toaster.
I have no idea what our agent did with the pilot. We premiered two 30-minute episodes of "The Selected Hilarity Show" to a very enthusiastic crowd of about 200 at UNC. Other than that, I'm not sure if anyone ever saw any of these sketches. We went our separate ways less than two years later and the pilot has remained in my attic ever since. It was always my intention to eventually do something with the video. It just took me 10 years to get around to it.
This Spring I finally started converting all of my VHS tapes to DVD. I couldn't find an original copy of the pilot, so what you see on the Net is a 12-year-old bad copy of a VHS tape from my attic transferred to DVD to AVI to MPG to FLV. That also explains how we made the footage look so "old."
Besides the "frustrated video dater" sketch, two other sketches from the show "Momo the Sign Language Gorilla" and "The Floor" experience popularity after both were featured on the homepage of MySpace.
We're glad everyone enjoys the videos. It's satisfying to have help create comedy that stands the test of time. Be sure to check out sketches from The Selected Hilarity Show on YouTube.