Jake and Amir

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Jake and Amir
Two men, one wearing black horn-rimmed glasses, before a white background; underneath them, the CollegeHumor logo and the words "JAKE&AMIR" on a black background with red stripes.
The show's third title card (2013–)
Genre Double act comedy
Sitcom
Starring Amir Blumenfeld
Jake Hurwitz
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 673[1] (as of 23 May 2014)
Production
Camera setup Multiple
(formerly single)
Running time 1–5 minutes
Production company(s) CollegeHumor
Broadcast
Original channel CollegeHumor
YouTube
Vimeo (2007–2008)
Picture format 720p 16:9
Original run May 23, 2007 (2007-05-23) – Present (Present)
Chronology
Related shows The CollegeHumor Show
Hardly Working
External links
Tumblr blog
Production website

Jake and Amir is an American comedy web series created by and starring CollegeHumor writers Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, originally set in New York and now Los Angeles. The two play humorous versions of themselves: Jake is usually depicted as a sensible "regular guy", and Amir as his annoying, obsessive and odd co-worker. The pair are seen acting as a comic double act. The series began on May 23, 2007, and new videos were posted every Tuesday to CollegeHumor's website and the series' Tumblr blog. The series won a Webby Award in 2010.

On December 18, 2013, it was announced that the web series is going to be adapted into a TV series, to air on TBS and be executive-produced by Ed Helms, Hurwitz, Blumenfeld, and several others.

History[edit]

Jake and Amir is one of CollegeHumor's longest-running series.[2] The series began with Hurwitz and Blumenfeld making short comedic videos on their own; though both of them were CollegeHumor employees, the videos were just a hobby, posted on Vimeo. As they grew more popular, CollegeHumor began incorporating them into its website as an original feature, collaborating with the pair to create further episodes.[citation needed] Jake explains that Jake and Amir was never intended to be a series, "We actually had no idea we were creating a series at the time we were doing it. I just thought Amir was so funny, and I had this crappy camera. We just made these videos and our friends started passing them around. It kind of grew from there."[3]

Production[edit]

The duo can create episodes of the show no matter where they are. Dan Frommer of Business Insider explains how "a trip to Florida became a four-part miniseries...broken-arm casts become props..girlfriends become actresses...[and] after an hour-plus presentation to the NY Videoblogging Meetup, they used the crowd as extras to shoot a scene for a future episode". The early episodes of the show were filmed on essentially no budget, with just a cheap camera without a tripod (no tripods are still used when "field shooting").[4]

While both actors have problems laughing on camera, Jake finds it harder to keep a straight face, as displayed in the numerous outtakes videos posted onto their YouTube channel.[4]

Concept[edit]

According to The Brandeis Hoot, "the show essentially involves either Amir annoying Jake in various ways or Jake messing with Amir".[5] The series generally takes place at Jake and Amir's desks, though occasional episodes will move to other parts of the office or even a different location altogether. Some episodes have a common theme or MacGuffin that the episode revolves around (i.e. buying a guitar, explaining the economic crisis), while others are more stream-of-consciousness, with events moving unpredictably in random directions.

Jake is typically portrayed as the "straight man", generally acting as the rational, normal one of the pair. More recently, Jake has sometimes been portrayed as insecure, self-centered and ignorant, especially when girls or fashion are involved. It is also implied that Jake actually craves Amir's attention, and has become increasingly more annoying to the rest of his coworkers.

Amir, by contrast, is usually portrayed as the "funny man". Amir is obsessed with Jake, and often says or does annoying things to try to spend time with him. Amir is also obsessed with fast food chain McDonald's, and especially with their Chicken McNuggets. He is unhealthy, doesn't do any work, and lacks common sense and a basic education. He can also be very aggressive or physically abusive towards his co-workers, who generally hate him. He has various friends and relatives who are mentioned in the series (most commonly his cousin Leron and 'friend' Mickey), although they rarely or never appear.

In later episodes, co-worker Brian "Murph" Murphy has become a major character, as has his fiancee Emily Axford. Murph has terrorized Jake on several occasions, bullying him very physically for no known reason, while Emily is attracted to Jake, further enraging the anger-prone Murph, most notably in the episode "Table Read" and the "Dinner Date" series of episodes.

The show has featured many of their other co-workers such as Pat Cassels, Sarah Schneider, Jeff "Rosie" Rosenburg, Jeff Rubin, Dan Gurewitch, Rick Van Veen, Will Stephen, Paul Greenburg, Dave Rosenburg and Streeter Seidell. Several non-CollegeHumor employees have featured as guest stars to the series such as: Ben Schwartz playing a variety of roles such as Private Eye, Office Painter, Dating Coach, Couples Therapist, HR guy, the Mountain Hiker, Interrogator, Milkman, Real Estate Agent, and Movie Usher. However, it is never revealed who he really is as every time Jake asks him to reveal his name, he cannot do so or invents a blatantly false name. In more recent episodes featuring Ben Schwartz, Jake has suffered physical and sexual abuse. Hoodie Allen, Amir's Rap Teacher has appeared in episodes "Rap Teacher (parts 1,2+3)". A running theme of these episodes is the raps Amir and Hoodie write involve Aardvark semen, yet when Jake tries to come up with his own they are generally terrible. Rick Fox has also featured as both Amir's bookie, betting on past events causing Amir to lose significant amounts of money. It is discovered in episode "Rick Fox" that Rick is in fact consciously scamming. An odd running gag of these episodes is the vast amount of eggs that Rick appears to be stealing/hiding, yet when Jake questions this both Rick and Amir ridicule him and suggest he has an egg fetish. Takeru Kobayashi also appears briefly in an episode of his namesake as Amir feeds him hot-dogs. Three of The Gregory Brothers appeared in an episode, and released an accompanying song featuring Amir on their own YouTube channel. In January 2014, CollegeHumor's production staff (including Jake and Amir) moved to Los Angeles.[6] Jake and Amir did a 7 part mini-series recapping their trip in an RV and continue to make videos at their new office every week.

Running jokes[edit]

The characters have several catchphrases (although they have recently become less common as the creators felt that the jokes were becoming less funny). Blumenfeld has said that their senses of humor have changed since they made earlier episodes.[7] Both characters have attempted freestyle rapping, including in several episodes featuring Hoodie Allen.

Occasionally, Amir films a mini-series called "Ace and Jocelyn" in which he pretends that he and Jake are "astronaut accountants from outer space." Jake would frequently get annoyed by Amir often taking it too far (going as far as poisoning Jake's food with Visine for the sake of the episode).[8] There are nine episodes of Amir's "Ace and Jocelyn" series.

Many of their catchphrases can be found on T-shirts that are sold on Busted Tees, which is run by the same company as CollegeHumor.[8]

Fired (30-minute special)[edit]

'Fired' is very much an extension of the Jake and Amir that people already know. It begins and ends with them at their desks. That being said, it also expands the universe considerably by adding characters, locations, and something even newer to a 'Jake and Amir' plot. Because it's the first time we've done a long-form video with our own small crew, something about it feels very intimate and gratifying.

Sam Reich, President of Original Content for CollegeHumor Media[9]

On October 11, 2011, the release of the series' first paid episode was announced. The half-hour episode, titled Jake and Amir: Fired, deals with Amir being fired by a fictional new CEO of CollegeHumor - Alan Avery (Matt Walton) - due to the discovery of Amir's numerous shenanigans during his fictional time at CollegeHumor. Jake sees this as an opportunity to finally rid himself of Amir and start a new life. However, after discovering Amir at a new low and unable to find work, Jake feels bad and decides to help Amir get his old job back. To do so, Jake and Amir shoot a new episode of the farcical show "Ace and Jocelyn" involving Amir throwing plates (flying saucers) in a diner, tattooing a 'treasure map' onto his back, interrupting a funeral, raiding an elementary school and launching a live turkey concealed in a cage off a bridge and into traffic. The filming of the episode leaves Jake a broken man yet it fails to impress Alan or earn Amir job back at CollegeHumor. The episode is described by Alan as "garbage" and his application is denied. However Alan is revealed to be a tax evader, so the duo blackmail Alan into re-employing Amir. The episode closes with Amir back to his old ways, once again pestering Jake to become his best friend.

The episode generated considerable attention in online media due to the unusual and pioneering nature of selling an episode of a web series,[10][11] though a more conventional DVD version was also sold alongside the digitally streamed one. The episode was the first CollegeHumor long-form release to rely solely on its own crew for production.[12]

TV adaptation[edit]

On December 18, 2013, it was announced that the web series would be adapted into a TV series, to air on TBS.[13] Ed Helms will serve as executive producer, alongside Hurwitz, Blumenfeld, Ricky Van Veen, Sam Reich, Mike Lisbe, Nate Reger, and Mike Falbo. Lisbe and Reger will also serve as showrunners for the series.

Reception[edit]

Jake and Amir won a Webby Award for Best Comedy: Long Running Form or Series in 2010, with Amir Blumenfeld also capturing the Best Individual Performance award that year.[14]

The series has developed a fanbase, with over 280,000 people liking the series' Facebook page, and many more watching the videos on CollegeHumor, YouTube and Vimeo.

Shahruz Shaukat of Accent Advocate describes Jake and Amir as "a true gem...capable of offering endless laughter on a regular schedule".[15]

In February 2014, Jake and Amir (along with another College Humor series) was the answer to a question--"What is College Humor?" on Jeopardy.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jake And Amir Dot Com: Archive". Jakeandamir.com. 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  2. ^ Davidson, Sam (October 13, 2011). "CollegeHumor takes the long view". C21 Media. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ Schomer, Stephanie (September 1, 2010). "Jake of "Jake and Amir" Doesn't Fight His Web Popularity". Fast Company. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Frommer, Dan (May 14, 2008). "Jake And Amir: CollegeHumor's Lo-Fi Funny Guys". Business Insider. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Reuben, Sydney (October 3, 2008). "Mixing business with laughter". The Brandeis Hoot. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ http://splitsider.com/2014/01/collegehumor-moves-from-ny-to-la-starts-new-production-company/
  7. ^ "The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show". Jeff Rubin. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 2012-08-05. ).
  8. ^ a b "Jake and Amir". BustedTees. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  9. ^ PR Newswire (October 12, 2011). "CollegeHumor Media Presents 'Jake and Amir: Fired'". SYS-CON. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kafka, Peter (October 11, 2011). "Serious Business? College Humor Tries Selling Web Video". All Things Digital. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ Baldwin, Drew (October 12, 2011). "College Humor Takes 'Jake and Amir' Long Form for $2.99". TubeFilter. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  12. ^ "CollegeHumor Media Presents 'Jake and Amir: Fired'". MarketWatch. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  13. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2013/12/tbs-to-adapt-hit-online-series-jake-amir-as-tv-comedy-with-ed-helms-producing/
  14. ^ "Webby Nominees". The Webby Awards. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ Shaukat, Shahruz (May 12, 2009). "Duo redefines humor: Funny bone tickled by shorts". Accent Advocate. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]