Friday, July 27, 2007

Frustrated Video Dater - Official Site

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.

10 comments:

Andy Bagwell said...

I always loved this video because it was something we couldn't really pull off on stage but still a great idea. There are so many little hidden gems in it which makes it re-watchable. Personally, I've also been somewhat surprised at how this viral video thing works with other people just cutting out the "SelectedHilarity.com" graphic at the end and slapping it up on their website/blog/youtube/myspace as their own. Odd.
And I think that is my voice at the beginning off-camera.

Dave said...

Yeah, that's Andy holding the mike. I was off camera to the left a little and remember that it only took 1 take to get this. We may have shot 2 just in case, but Scott already had this completely ready to go. I love the line "Brunettes are good... and so are readheads, or blondes" as if this video dater is casting his net pretty wide.

I'm glad this is getting so much attention now. I hope the same holds true for "The Floor" and "Momo the Sign Language Gorilla".

Bryan T. said...

I remember when we recorded this, and there really wasn't much of a script. Scott had some ideas for lines, and he knew it would end in some kind of physical meltdown, but there was no real rehearsal for it. He just started and went on instinct - a talent which served him well in our group for 7 years.

This clip was very funny in the pilot, but it seems much more ideally suited as a web video that's passed around from inbox to inbox. It's short, and its poor production only serves to make it look more real. On television it might feel a little less authentic. It's nice to see it's gotten so much attention.
- Bryan

Ian said...

Man, you guys were good, and still are.

scottb said...

my memory on the skit is a little fuzzy, but i think i got the idea from watching a real life parallel with a poor soul that cracked me up, albeit unintentionally.

it seemed like the best of both worlds--minimal prep, wide berth to cut loose and a good laugh. Andy is right in that it was one of our few ideas that worked well on tape but would have been tough live; often it was the reverse. then again, i was always looking for a reason to yell crazy s#@$.

i give much thanks to Larry for hanging onto this.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was genius.

It sucks how SelectedHilarity.Com isn't credited.

Perhaps next time there should be a small SelectedHilarity.Com banner on the bottom of the video during the whole video? It does take some thing away from the video, but at the same time maybe people will be less likely to cut it.

Anyways, I thought there were a lot of funny little nuances and things that make it funny throughout.

-Amir

AdamB said...

Still hilarious! And very nice to see the Intertubes serving up some sweet SH memories. Nice job guys!!

Anonymous said...

Your Hot

Anonymous said...

Scott couldn't have pulled it off any better if he had actually been strung out on meth! Favorite line: "...cause height is in the eye of the beholder." Great!

Anonymous said...

I have seen this posted before with no indication that it was not real. Hilarious over and over! I finally saw it posted tonight with the link at the bottom of it and confirmed it was a fake. I suspected because it was too funny to be real. And what an actor that didn't crack a smile! Amazing skit! Thank you!