Today’s Feature, November 11th-12th: Jake and Amir

November 12, 2007 at 2:09 am (Today's Feature)

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Each and every day people suddenly find themselves in the middle of ridiculous/hilarious/stupid situations. Whether you’re at work forcing small talk about how it’s so cold outside (when it’s freakin’ January) with clueless co-workers, at the gym working out next to a guy wearing what resembles the standard ensemble of a trapeze artist, or hanging out with your roommates arguing over who is going to walk ten feet to take out the trash… examples of the humor behind everyday life are everywhere.

What isn’t everyday, is the ability to recognize and isolate such comedy. This is where CollegeHumor employees and stars of the absurdly popular Jake and Amir videos, the aptly named Jake and Amir come in. When they met a little over a year ago, the two had no idea that their constant repartee would be the subject of some of the most sharp, savvy and amusing videos on the internet (which is saying something when just about everyone thinks their lives are something worth filming). The fact this act isn’t forced also makes this duo stand out amongst a sea of many. These videos are “more or less real life.”

Jake and Amir spend their days doing what most 20-something males wish they were being paid to do. Aside from writing articles for CollegeHumor’s front page and scripts for CollegeHumor’s CHTV and acting in them as well, the two sometimes make time in their day to hang out in the Cute College Girl section of CollegeHumor. Rough. They generally end their days with a video such as “Burp,” “Screen Name,” or “Sunglasses.” “Office Tour” is the best though, seriously.

If you ever find yourself around the two with a video camera, beware. When it comes to participation, “no one is safe.” Take a break and check out JakeandAmir.com and buy one of their t-shirts at bustedtees.com… but not before you jump into their XXQ’s.

XXQs: Jake and Amir

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did Jake and Amir first meet? Did you know from the start you tow would want to work with one another?

Jake: We met in September of 2006. We didn’t really have any idea we would “work” on anything like this together. But when we moved offices Amir and I had new desks that were directly across from each other. We started joking around all day and then we just decided to film it.

Amir: Video it.

Jake: Same thing.

Amir: Not really.

Jake: Next question.

PEV: Was comedy (writing and performing) something you always wanted to pursue?

Amir: Ideally, yeah, but I knew that it probably wasn’t going to happen. That’s why I went to business school at UC Berkeley. That’s also where Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) went. When CollegeHumor offered me a job to write comedy for a living I felt as happy as Dogbert does when he proves Dilbert wrong. Hahaha, oh Dogbert. You are so sarcastic.

Jake: Same goes for me. Except the whole part about Berkeley. The part about always wanting to be in comedy and being happy about getting a job at CollegeHumor though. So true.

PEV: What other types of writing do you do for College Humor and Vimeo?

Jake : We don’t actually work for Vimeo, but we are run out of the same office and we think they’re awesome. We both write articles for CollegeHumor’s front page and we occasionally help writing scripts for CollegeHumor’s CHTV as well as acting in some of the videos.

PEV: How long have you guys worked for Connected Ventures, which owns Vimeo? Did you start before there was a Vimeo?

Amir : When I started, Vimeo was just a side project of Jake Lodwick who was a programmer at CollegeHumor at the time. I feel like an old man. “When I started, Vimeo was just an idea etched to the side of a well!”

Jake: I started about a year after Amir, so by that time Vimeo had moved from the side of a well to the internet.

PEV: It seems like at the beginning the skits were just to create content for Vimeo and then they just got better and better. How have the skits evolved from when you started them?

Jake : They really just started because my dad bought me a video camera. I think they’ve gotten better because they’ve gone from a bunch of random, goofy ideas, to a story where we have characters that we keep trying to evolve… “Just to create content for Vimeo?” You thought they sucked, huh? Say it then.

Amir : Calm down, man.

Jake : I’m not gonna calm down, not til he explains himself.

Amir: It’s an e-mail interview, he can’t explain it.

Jake : Fine. Next question.

PEV: Do people think that Jake really hates Amir in real life and vice versa?

Jake : I actually have gotten e-mails asking if this is what Amir is really like. We pretty much play our characters nonstop in every conversation we have, so the videos are more or less real life.

Amir : I think some people think I’m a huge loser. People have said that to me… they haven’t even seen JakeAndAmir.com either. Pretty weird.

PEV: What is a normal day like for you?

Jake : I write articles, I look through submissions for BustedTees (Another CV operated site) and I head up the Cute College Girl section of CollegeHumor. Then, around 4:00 PM I look across at Amir and say, “What are we filming today?”

Amir: 5:00 AM- Gym. Hard.

Jake: Tell the truth.

Amir: Okay. Wake up around 8:30 and I walk to work. At work I, along with some other folks, are in charge of finding videos for CollegeHumor. Uploading, captioning, etc. I also help make short in-office videos, and write articles as well. Then at 4:02 I look up and answer Jake. “What took you so long to say that short sentence?!”

PEV: In your free time, what can we find Jake and Amir doing?

Jake: Up until last Wednesday I was watching a lot of baseball. Now I’m watching Yankees Classics on YES and crying a lot.

Amir: I’m usually editing videos or writing. Though I guess that’s not free time. I mean, if you’re doing something, is it actually “free time?” Oh my God, what a self-realization. Also, I watch a lot of sports.

PEV: What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about Jake and Amir?

Amir: One of us is actually 2.5 years older than the other! Though, for the life of me, I SHALL NOT REVEAL WHICH ONE IS WHICH!

Jake : I’m 22 and Amir is 24.

Amir: Okay. You really shouldn’t have said that.

PEV: What do all your friends and family think about the skits and what you have done?

Amir : Some of my friends like it, and follow them, some have no idea they even exist. My brother really enjoys it; we even let him be in one. And my niece hates them, but she’s two, so I’m not sweating that too much. She could at least chuckle when I fall down, though.

Jake: My whole family really likes them. My mom even checks the website on her own. I’m one of six kids, and all my sister’s and my little brother all watch the videos and share them with their friends. They’re so supportive I could puke.

PEV: Everyone seems to have a favorite Jake and Amir skit (I’m partial to [Amir’s video mail to his mom] and [Amir’s new website ideas] but that’s me…). Which was your favorite skit to write and why?

Jake: I’m a big fan of one of our newer ones called “Burp.” But I also really like some oldies, “Screen name” and “Sunglasses.” I’m not sure if I could really pick a favorite, they’re all so much fun to shoot.

Amir: I can DEFINITELY pick a favorite. It’s called HANG UP and it’s the only one you are not in.

Jake: I’m in that one. I’m in every one.

Amir: Then don’t make me choose. They’re all like children to me.

PEV: Do you ever get stopped out in public and what is the first question people usually ask you?

Amir: Usually I get stopped for the Yankee Prank thing I did for CollegeHumor.

Jake: I’ve only gotten recognized for Jake and Amir videos once or twice. It’s less a question thing and more just someone saying “I love your videos.” Which is awesome to hear.

PEV: What is currently in your iPod or in your CD player now?

Jake: I basically listen to other people’s iTunes at work. I’m going through a Ratatat phase right now.

Amir: Me too.

Jake: What’s your favorite song?

Amir: Next question, no time for this shiat.

Jake: So you don’t know who they are?

Amir: Next. Question

PEV: Do you find that people in real life think they know you because they see you acting “normal” in the skits?

Jake: When my mom first met Amir she hugged him and said, “I feel like I know you.” So I guess my answer is yes.

Amir: Jake’s mom also brought in cookies to the office, which was kind of the inspiration behind one of our videos called “MOM.” Side note: they were delicious. So I guess my answer is yes.

PEV: Have you got to the point yet where there are things in your real life that you won’t put in the videos? Ex: Jake’s girlfriend, co-workers who don’t want to be in them, etc?

Jake: No one is safe. But it hasn’t actually been an issue, we usually just ask people around us when we’re filming if they’ll be in one and they usually are happy to help us out.

Amir: Yeah, if anything we try to find convoluted ways to cram other people we know into our videos.

PEV: I see that you are now doing commercials for Mike’s Hard Lemonade as a Jake and Amir skit, any other commercial offers? How much free Mike’s hard lemonade have you consumed since doing the commercials?

Amir: That was just a one time thing. We were the spokesmen for a CollegeHumor campaign for Mikes Hard Lemonade.

Jake: I’m still doing stuff for them.

Amir: So am I.

Jake: I’m kidding.

Amir: Kay, good. Because I’m not doing anything for them either.

PEV: It seems like everyone at Vimeo is making little skits all the time. Does everyone at the Vimeo office just walk around with their video camera telling people to “do something funny”?

Amir: No, not really. The people at Vimeo are really hard workers. They just happen to capture great video when something funny happens.

Jake: Yeah, if the cameras were rolling in Vimeo all day you’d see a lot of footage of programmers hunched over computers.

PEV: Where do you see you guys going with the videos? Sitcom for NBC? A live performance of your favorite Jake and Amir skits coming to an Off-Broadway stage soon?

Amir: We don’t really know. For now we are just doing it for the love of the video, to have an outlet for our ideas.

Jake: Sitcom for NBC sounds pretty chill, though.

Amir: Yeah… Wanna just forget about the website and work on that?

Jake: For sure. Which button turns all the old videos off?

PEV: What’s one word that best describes, JakeandAmir.com?

Amir: Not reverent.

Jake: That’s two words. And you’re extra dumb because you could have easily said “irreverent.” Same meaning, but one word.

Amir: …that’s 18 words.

Jake: Nope.

PEV: So, what is next for Jake and Amir?

Amir: More of the same, hopefully. Just a bigger audience.

Jake: And T-Shirts!

Amir: Right, and T-shirts. We just got some BustedTees made for us www. bustedtees.com/shirt/jakeandamir/male.com

For more information on Jake and Amir, check out www.JakeAndAmir.com

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4 Comments

  1. BeingFamous.com | Amir’s Online Home » Jake and Amirterview said,

    […] PensEyeView.com interviewed Jake and Myself for their website. Our first piece of real press! […]

  2. jakehurwitz.com » Blog Archive » J & A Interview said,

    […] and I got interviewed for the website Pen’s Eye View for the Jake and Amir videos. The site’s got a pretty interesting concept, a new 20 question […]

  3. Eric said,

    This article was really, really funny. It’s sort of sad (funny) that the only two comments are pingbacks from Jake and Amir.

  4. Jake said,

    Considering how many takes they usually need to get the videos down, I’m not sure they could do an off-broadway show without Jake constantly cracking up.
    However, sometimes the “Jake laughing” outtakes are really really funny, so I guess it kinda evens out.

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