New Breed of Do-It-Yourself Sketch Comedy Is Part of a Growing Trend that Promises to Change How the Game is Played

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“Mother Approved” comedy is not your mother’s comedy, but offers smart comedy to an audience in need of it

Mother's Day Phobia "Parturiphobia"

Mother Approved comedy rocks! It’s hilarious and weird, and finally explains all the crap you've been so freaked out about your whole life.

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A new project from Buzzworm Films highlights a new trend in Hollywood: “do-it-yourself” productions lead by actors, writers and directors who say they are tired of waiting for meaty auditions. “Mother Approved” sketch comedy and similar projects are shaking things up in Hollywood and changing how the game is played.

With the huge growth in online videos – and, more importantly, the audience consuming those videos – actors, writers and comedians can create their own big breaks if they can carve out a piece of that audience (and make them laugh). After all, one of the most watched people on YouTube is a Nebraska teenager who created a character named “Fred” and proceeded to make more than 1.6 million kids (and their parents) laugh. Since then, 16-year-old Lucas Cruikshank has appeared on sitcoms, talk shows and has even filmed a movie.

Mother Approved” sketch comedy, however, is a little more grown up – and so are its creators. Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter are ‘graduates’ of the famed Upright Citizen’s Brigade (an honor shared with the likes of Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live fame).

While Brown gets regular work on TV shows and commercials, it’s just not enough. She and Walter want to improve the quality of comedy available for consumption. “If I sat around and waited for the perfect audition to come around that highlights my individual talents, I’d go crazy, or blind from masturbating out of boredom,” jokes Kasi. “So in between playing ‘Paramedic Sue’ or the ‘Victim Guest Star,’ I’d rather do my own thing.”

“Have you ever read the copy for auditions?” adds Walter. “Most of it is lackluster. Plus, we were sick of being a cog in the system. We thought we should make our own productions instead since we both have a lot of expertise in the film world. It's better to be behind the wheel than the piston of the engine.”

Brown agrees. “You have to advocate for yourself out here, she says. “No one cares about your career more than you do.” The do-it-yourself duo write, shoot, act and edit the comedy sketch show themselves. The whole point is to create better quality comedy than what they think is out there now.

But, why the name “Mother Approved” for the sketch comedy show?

“You know how you call a bald man curly?” jokes Brown. “We decided to call ourselves ‘Mother Approved’ as a response to the human need for group approval. It’s making fun of that. Because people should just decide for themselves from their hearts what is good, what is funny and what is approved.”

Walter admits, however they like the additional dimension of humor that is created by luring people in that assume (because of the name) that it is clean and ‘safe’ comedy. “Then we pull the rug out from under your feet.”

But do their mothers approve of the sometimes “raunchy” (as Walter puts it) subject matter of the sketches? “My mother pretty much approves of everything I do. Don't they all?” jokes Walter. “Well, maybe not Ted Bundy's mom. But I think she might shake her head a bit and blush at a few of our sketches.”

Brown chimes in with “My mother thinks I’m hilarious. Then again, she’s a crazy red-head. I can always count on her to insist that I dance like a monkey for her friends at any given gathering. That’s what a mother’s for, right?”

Brown and Walter are out to change the game in Hollywood, and improve the quality of what is available in the comedic marketplace. But, why is what they are doing different? What are their sketches about?

Brown says their sketches are funny because they’re true. “We like to dig into what motivates an individual’s behavior,” she says. “What makes us the funny, bizarre individuals we are? That’s what we’re interested in.”

“The sketches are about everyday people in weird situations. From real life phobias and the irrationality of dealing with them to a guy with a futuristic headset who is omni-connected to the social internet,” states Walter.

"Mother Approved comedy rocks! It’s hilarious and weird, and finally explains all the crap you've been so freaked out about your whole life.” Says fan Michael Vartan (Alias, Monster in Law, Hawthorne).

“We avoid sophomoric jokes and are manufacturing a sense of humor that we feel is unique,” says Walter. Plus, with the phobia series, you can learn about true life phobias you've never heard of. I love an educational aspect in sketches and television.”

A new sketch, “Parturiphobia” (about the fear of child birth), was added in honor of Mother’s Day. A new sketch is released about every two weeks, and placed on http://www.motherapprovedcomedy.com and FunnyOrDie.com (founded by fellow funny folks like Will Ferrell).

So what’s next for ‘Mother Approved’? Brown and Kasi are seeking funding to create a pilot for a series.

“Ultimately, I would like to see the show bought as an episodic series whether for the internet or television with Brandon and I maintaining some semblance of creative control,” says Brown.

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