Hot Rod: Internet video stars done good.

November 9th, 2007 by Jarmo Puskala

Hot Rod is a film from the Lonely Island comedy troupe, who made their name by posting their rejected Fox pilot Awesome Town online. They released it under a Creative Commons licence and it got quite popular, getting them hired on Saturday Night Live.

Awesome Town

The main players are Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and the curiously named Jorma Taccone. For you foreigner readers, the curious part is that “Jorma” is a rather traditional Finnish name pretty much equal to the english “Dick”.

Check out the Awsome Town intro above with it’s undying lyrics like “My name’s Jorma motherfuckers”. Check out the whole episode on their site. I recommed watching the “dude’s cut” first, it’s less traditional, but a lot funnier than the Fox version.

Hot Rod

Hot Rod is their first feature, shot between seasons of Saturday Night Live. It was released last month and thus far has made some $14 million worldwide. I think that can be classified as step up from YouTube fame.

It tells the story of Rod Kimble, a self-proclaimed stuntman who decides to sget the money needed for his step-dad’s operation in order to get to kick his ass in a fair fight. The plot, as usual, is pretty meaningless. Many of the funniest parts of the film look like they come straight out of the fictional tv show “Ow My Balls” in the non-fictional film Idiocracy, with Rod getting hit, punched, set on fire and crashing in to large objects. But the plot does it’s job without getting in the way of the funny stuff. And yes, the film is funny. Not constatly, nor does it come anywhere near to suffocating you with laughter, but it’s funny. The humor ranges from slapstick to weird and post modern – quite like what Awesome Town had, even pulling some of the jokes straight from the pilot.

The main thing for the film is that it has the feeling of being honest and natural, that’s enough to make it stand out from the sea of *movie and *trip franchises. I wouldn’t be suprised if the Lonely Island dudes would be the next comedy superstars to come out of SNL. Indeed, internet video stars have done good. It’s a shame there isn’t a SNL in Finland to hire people like the Huba guys. We’re still waiting to see a TV series from them. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.


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