For-Profit Online University

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For-Profit Online University
For-Profit Online University intertitle.jpg
Genre Satire
Alternative comedy
Written by Sam West (teleplay)
Story by
  • Geoff Haggerty
  • Dan E. Klein
  • Matthew Klinman
  • Michael Pielocik
  • Chris Sartinsky
  • Sam West
Directed by Sam West
Starring
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Geoff Haggerty
  • Becca Kinskey
  • Dan E. Klein
  • Matthew Klinman
  • Michael Pielocik
  • Chris Sartinsky
  • Jonathan Stern
  • Sam West
Producer(s)
  • Becca Kinskey
  • Jonathan Stern
  • Franny Baldwin (line producer)
Cinematography Kevin Atkinson
Editor(s) Matthew Freund
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s) Abominable Pictures
Williams Street
Release
Original network Adult Swim
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release December 17, 2013 (2013-12-17)
Chronology
Related shows Infomercials
External links
Website

For-Profit Online University is a television special written and directed by Sam West for Adult Swim. The special is presented as an infomercial parodying for-profit universities. The special is co-written by Wild, Aggressive Dog, a conglomerate of former Onion writers, consisting of Geoff Haggerty, Dan E. Klein, Matthew Klinman, Michael Pielocik, Chris Sartinsky and Sam West.

The special aired on December 17, 2013 at 4 a.m. on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. The special was viewed by 871,000 viewers and received a 0.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic Nielsen household rating.

Synopsis[edit]

The infomercial consists of various students giving testimonies of their success, owing it to the school, literally named For-Profit Online University. Students pay for knowledge instead of attending traditional classes, and are offered jobs as 'Digital Gardeners,' solving CATPCHA for digital currency. The later half of the special introduces the threat of an evil rogue spambot named Howard, who was bribed with a large sum of ThoughtCoins, a digital currency used through the school, in an attempt to placate him.

Cast[edit]

  • Nicole Byer as "22MuchBIZ"
  • Nelson Cheng as "LetsFunHans"
  • Nick Corirossi as "FPOU_DEAN"
  • Geoff Haggerty as "USAdude1981"
  • Brian Huskey as "FPOU_PROF_300954"
  • Ingrid Tejada as "sALTedAngel69"

Production[edit]

The special presents itself as a spoof of for-profit universities infomercials, a source of frequent criticism and congressional investigation in the United States.[1]:2[2] The special is written and directed by Sam West, and is co-written by the creative writing team Wild Aggressive Dog, a conglomerate of former Onion writers, consisting of Geoff Haggerty, Dan Klein, Matthew Klinman, Michael Pielocik, Chris Sartinsky and Sam West.[3]

Reception[edit]

Gaby Dunn of The Daily Dot compared the fictional college to the University of Phoenix (Online campus pictured).

For-Profit Online University aired on December 17, 2013, at 4 a.m. on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. The special was published onto Adult Swim's YouTube channel the same day.[4] Initially made private on their channel, the special became viral online after being spotted by comedy blogs.[5] The special was viewed by 871,000 viewers and received a 0.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic Nielsen household rating.[6]

Dan Simmons of the Wisconsin State Journal praised the special as "hilariously" parodying "what some in academia fear is a growing movement toward commodifying college."[2] Andy Thomason of The Chronicle of Higher Education called the presentation of the special "brutal" in its criticism of both for-profit and traditional universities.[7] Gaby Dunn of The Daily Dot compared the fictional college to the University of Phoenix in her review of the special.[5] Laughing Squid's EDW Lynch called the infomercial "hilarous",[8] while Splitsider stated of all of Adult Swim's faux-infomericals, the special was "the best one yet".[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff writers (February 6, 2014). "Viral parody video: Bad for online education?". eCampus News. eSchool Media. pp. 1–3 (paginated). Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Simmons, Dan (December 30, 2013). "On Campus: Come profit with us, says founder of fake online university". Wisconsin State Journal. Lee Enterprises. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kingkade, Tyler (December 22, 2013). "For-Profit Online University Isn't a Scam Like Real College". The Huffington Post. AOL Inc. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Infomercial: For-Profit Online University". YouTube. January 24, 2014. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Dunn, Gaby (December 19, 2013). "Ex-Onion writers mock for-profit colleges in this parody infomercial". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ Pucci, Douglas (December 24, 2013). "Adult Swim Ratings Scorecard – Week of Dec. 16, 2013". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ Thomason, Andy (December 20, 2013). "Fake Infomercial for For-Profit Online University Satirizes Higher Ed". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Lynch, EDW (December 27, 2013). "A Hilarious Parody Infomercial for For-Profit Online University by Adult Swim". Laughing Squid. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Evans, Bradford (December 18, 2013). "Here's an Infomercial for a Fake College Written by Ex-Onion Writers that Adult Swim Has Been Airing at 4 a.m.". Splitsider. The Awl. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]