Jake Hurwitz

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Jake Hurwitz
Jakehurwitz2014 (cropped).png
Jake Hurwitz in 2014
Born
Jacob Penn Cooper Hurwitz

(1985-08-05) August 5, 1985 (age 33)
Spring Glen, Connecticut, United States
NationalityAmerican
EducationHunter College
OccupationComedian, writer, actor
Years active2005–present
Spouse(s)
Jillian Vogel (m. 2018)

Jacob Penn Cooper Hurwitz (born August 5, 1985) is an American comedian, writer, actor, and member of the comedy duo Jake and Amir. He was hired by the comedy website CollegeHumor after becoming an intern there in 2006, and has written and appeared in original videos for the website, as well as contributing articles which have been published both online and in print. He also starred in The CollegeHumor Show, an MTV sitcom that ran for one season in 2009. Outside of CollegeHumor, Hurwitz has hosted Myspace's BFF series.

He is best known as the comedy partner of Amir Blumenfeld: the two appear as humorous and exaggerated versions of themselves in the web series Jake and Amir, with Hurwitz generally assuming the role of the straight man. Originally made as a hobby by the pair, the series is now produced by CollegeHumor. Episodes of Jake and Amir average over 500,000 views; by 2012, over 500 had been produced. Beginning in April 2016, they announced the streaming of their new video series, Lonely and Horny, exclusively on Vimeo. The pair have also hosted numerous live shows, and started the advice podcast If I Were You in 2013. On August 1, 2015, Hurwitz and Blumenfeld launched the comedy podcast network HeadGum alongside Marty Michael. [1] As of February 2019, the network features 42 different podcasts on its website. [2]

Early life[edit]

Hurwitz was born in Connecticut.[3] The son of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, he had a Bar Mitzvah and attended Hebrew school, but also celebrated Christmas and Easter.[4] He attended Hamden Hall Country Day School for high school, and Hunter College[5] and New School University in New York City.[6]

Career[edit]

CollegeHumor[edit]

In 2005, as the book The CollegeHumor Guide to College was nearing completion, Hurwitz began to write a column for the comedy website CollegeHumor while attending school. When he transferred to Hunter College, he became an intern at the company[4]—he summarized his duties saying "I put together desks and microwaved". He later got a full-time position at CollegeHumor,[6] where he writes and acts in original videos.[7] Having originally wanted to be a sitcom writer, he "spent a year or two feeling really uncomfortable on camera", but now says he "love[s] it".[8]

Hurwitz was a cast member on The CollegeHumor Show,[9] a 2009 sitcom set in the CollegeHumor offices and featuring videos from the website.[10] His character's biography on the MTV website reads: "Jake might not be smarter than his coworkers, but he's better looking, and that's good enough for him."[9] The show received mixed reviews. Pajiba's Dustin Rowles dismissed it as "a series of atrocious sketches haphazardly strung together", [11] while Liz Shannon Miller - editor for online streaming site Newteevee - criticized the show's sitcom format and wrote that she "would have preferred a stronger debut," but gave the premiere four stars out of a possible five.[12] After it had gone nearly a year without being recommissioned, Hurwitz commented "We stopped holding our breath for a second season".[3]

Jake and Amir[edit]

Hurwitz's comedy partner Amir Blumenfeld in 2010

Hurwitz met his colleague Amir Blumenfeld in 2006,[13] when the former began his internship at CollegeHumor.[14] When their offices moved to Union Square, the two were seated across from each other.[15] Hurwitz received a digital camera as a birthday present from his father, and the two used it to make videos together,[15] which they uploaded to the video-sharing website Vimeo.[14] Hurwitz thought Blumenfeld was "the funniest person in the office" and said "Amir and I were constantly joking around in different, strange characters, so it seemed natural that once I had a camera we began to record it."[15] Their first video was called "Quick Characters": it was unscripted, and involved either Hurwitz or Blumenfeld spontaneously pointing a camera at the other and instructing them to act in a certain way.[16]

The two later began the web series Jake and Amir, episodes of which they posted to jakeandamir.com[14] In it, Hurwitz plays Jake, a "normal guy", and Blumenfeld plays Amir, his annoying and obsessive co-worker, who craves Jake's attention.[13][14]

Hurwitz summed up the writing process by saying "me and Amir sit in a room and we make each other laugh for an hour or two and somehow we leave with a script"—he also noted the series' increased production values, saying that he and Blumenfeld have become better at editing it over time. Describing how his character has developed, Hurwitz said "I think the Jake character has become a little more wacky, which is fun for me. We've given me triggers for my insecurity and then I get to be a little weird which is cool." He also noted that the characters' roles had swapped somewhat because "when we're writing together we do each other's voices sometimes ... it was just making us laugh a lot when I was doing the crazy/funny man and he was doing the straight man when it came to fashion and girls."[17]

If I Were You[edit]

On May 13, 2013, Hurwitz and Blumenfeld announced their first new project since Jake and Amir: a comedy audio podcast called If I Were You, in which they give advice to listeners who submit questions.[18] Kayla Culver of The Concordian lauded the podcast as "comfortable to listen to" and "genuinely funny" and said "It's like listening to two best friends having a hilarious conversation on the couch next to you."[19] Conversely, The Guardian's Miranda Sawyer described If I Were You as "a typical example of a comedy podcast" and "amiable enough", but said it contained "far too much laughing", commenting that "New Yorkers Jake and Amir laugh and laugh, giggle and chortle their way around a topic" and "if I wanted stream-of-consciousness waffle with the occasional funny line, I'd listen to [my small children]."[20]

Not Another D&D Podcast[edit]

In 2018, Hurwitz launched Not Another D&D Podcast alongside Brian Murphy, Emily Axford and Caldwell Tanner. As of March 2019, the Dungeons and Dragons themed podcast has aired over 50 episodes. [21] In the weekly campaign, Hurwitz plays Hardwon Surefoot, human fighter. Hardwon was raised in a dwarfanage. Hardwon is commonly referred to by his full name: "Hardwon Surefoot, Bastard of the Mountain, Pride of the Dwarfanage, Thick of Calf and Quad, Dug farther into Iron Deep than any man or dwarf before him, Dragon Slayer, the Oft Dead." In their monthly campaign, run by Caldwell Tanner, Jake plays Nyack, a half-elf ranger who dreams of being the silverback of his gorilla tribe. He deeply loves his half-brother, Jens Lyndelle (Brian Murphy), who refers to him as a half-stranger.

HeadGum[edit]

In 2015, following the success of Hurwitz and Blumenfeld's If I Were You podcast, the duo founded the HeadGum podcasting network. HeadGum currently hosts 42 podcasts, many of which are hosted by comedians who were involved with CollegeHumor. Some of the notable programs that can be found on the network include Why Won't You Date Me?, Gilmore Guys, and Doughboys. If I Were You and Not Another D&D Podcast, both of which feature Hurwitz as a co-host, are also featured on the network.

BFF[edit]

In 2009, Hurwitz was selected as the host of the second season of BFF, a game show produced for Myspace that Hurwitz described as "The Dating Game for friends". This was the first time he had been hired to appear in a non-CollegeHumor series; he called it "the first time I've been tapped on the shoulder to do anything that wasn't frat boy humor" and said the show's format was "out of [his] wheelhouse".[3] Hurwitz was given the chance to film a Jake and Amir video on the set, which he said "turned out pretty well".[15] Tubefilter's Marc Hustvedt said of the season: "It's a bit of a shame to see the typically absurd Hurwitz stripped of any real comedy purpose and thrown into what is pretty squarely a young, fashion-loving women's chit-chat."[22] Although some episodes of the season appeared to have been viewed over 500,000 times, Hustvedt said that many of them appeared to come from embedded video advertising and doubted the veracity of this number.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Beginning in 2009, he was in a relationship with Bee Shaffer, the daughter of English fashion journalist Anna Wintour, whom he met after Shaffer became CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen's assistant.[24] The two attended the Webby Awards in 2010, where Hurwitz was awarded for his acting work.[25] They moved to Los Angeles together in 2011, and split up in May 2012.[24] Since around 2013, he has been in a long-term relationship with Jillian Vogel whom he married in August 2018[26][27]

He has cited the television series Arrested Development and comedian Mitch Hedberg as major influences in his comedy styling.[13]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2009 The CollegeHumor Show Jake
2012, 2013 Money from Strangers With Amir Blumenfeld; 2 episodes
2015 Adam Ruins Everything Matt 1 episode
2018 Bobcat Goldthwait's Misfits & Monsters Ben 1 episode

Online video[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007–2015 Jake and Amir Jake Also writer
2007–2015 Hardly Working Jake Also writer
2010–2015 CollegeHumor Originals Various
2016 Lonely and Horny Josh Rice Also director and writer

Bibliography[edit]

  • The writers of CollegeHumor.com (2011). CollegeHumor: The Website. The Book. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306820496.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HeadGum". Built in LA. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Podcasts". HeadGum. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Hustvedt, Marc (November 30, 2009). "Jake Hurwitz Tells All: Amir, 'BFF', 'CollegeHumor Show', and Those Terrifying UCB Shows". Tubefilter. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Moses, Jeremy (April 21, 2009). "Jake & Amir: Funnier Than You". MyJewishLearning. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  5. ^ "CUNY Hunter College – Alumni & Post-Grads". College Prowler. Niche. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Monasky, Briana (May 14, 2008). "Jake and Amir: Setting the bar for College Humor". The State Hornet. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jake Hurwitz". CollegeHumor. IAC. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Garrison, Laura Turner. "Crushable 25: Jake Hurwitz (And Amir Blumenfeld) From 'Jake And Amir'". Crushable. Alloy Digital. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "The CollegeHumor Show – Cast Bios". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (February 4, 2009). "Dudes! Time for Beer Pong! CollegeHumor.com Invades MTV". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  11. ^ Rowles, Dustin (February 10, 2009). "Only Stupid People are Breeding / The Cretins Cloning and Feeding". Pajiba. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  12. ^ "MTV's CollegeHumor Show Stumbles With Sitcom Cliches - Liz Shannon Miller".
  13. ^ a b c Kushigemachi, Todd (July 24, 2012). "Hurwitz & Blumenfeld: College Humor duo graduate to next level". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d Kenan, Ido (May 31, 2012). "Meet Jake and Amir, the most successful Jewish comedians on the Internet". Haaretz. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d "Jake Hurwitz & BFF". BFF.tv. TotallyHer Media. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  16. ^ Lorenzini, Wesley (director) (December 12, 2008). Amir Blumenfeld Interview. YouTube. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  17. ^ Davis, Deirdre Ann (February 20, 2013). "Talking to Jake and Amir About Their Web Series, CollegeHumor, and More". Splitsider. The Awl. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  18. ^ "New Podcast!". Jake and Amir. CollegeHumor. May 13, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  19. ^ Culver, Kayla (September 30, 2013). "'If I Were You'". The Concordian. Concordia College. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  20. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (July 27, 2013). "Rewind radio: If I Were You; TED Radio Hour; Stuff You Should Know; Stuff Mom Never Told You; Desert Island Discs – review". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Not Another D&D Podcast". Headgum.com. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  22. ^ Hustvedt, Marc (August 27, 2009). "MySpace Rolls New 'BFF' Season, Taps Jake Hurwitz to Host". Tubefilter. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  23. ^ Hustvedt, Marc (September 17, 2009). "Is MySpace's 'BFF' Buying Views?". Tubefilter. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Bee Shaffer, Anna Wintour's daughter, has split from comic Jake Hurwitz, sources say". Daily News. New York. May 30, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  25. ^ Ruiz, Michelle. "A Sarcastic Moment With Bee Shaffer and Her Boyfriend, Jake Hurwitz". The Cut. New York Media. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  26. ^ "If I Were You Show — Episode 289: Engaged".
  27. ^ "I'm Still Right - Episode 46: Privilege and Stupidity (w/ Jake Hurwitz & Jillian Vogel)".

External links[edit]