JibJab and Verizon Wireless have teamed up with renowned comedy film director John Landis to produce six comedy short films featuring the best up-and-coming sketch comedians in the country for the Great Sketch Experiment contest. The six videos competing are available as of today for free at JibJab.com or on Verizon Wirelessï¿½ V CAST service in the V CAST Showcase channel.
The winner of the Great Sketch Experiment, sponsored by JibJab Media Inc., will receive a $10,000 development deal with JibJab and have their performance featured on Verizon Wirelessï¿½ V CAST service. Viewers can vote for their favorite video online at www.jibjab.com through Nov. 16, 2006.
"The Internet has given new talent a way to reach directly to the public," said Landis. "It is an exciting and ever-evolving new medium and I am happy to have been given the chance by JibJab to meet and work with fresh young talent."
The six finalists in the Great Sketch Experiment include:* KARLA ï¿½ Marion Austin Oberle and Megan Kellie (Los Angeles)* ELEPHANT LARRY ï¿½ Alexander Zalben, Stefan Lawrence, Chris Principe, Jeff Solomon and Geoff Haggerty (New York)* RIEGEL & BLATT ï¿½ Sam Riegel and Rob Blatt (New York)* Mark & Ari ï¿½ Mark Sarian and Ari Voukydis (New York)* FAMOUS LAST NERDS ï¿½ Erik Weiner and Jordan Allen Dutton (San Francisco)* TRAIN OF THOUGHT ï¿½ John Boyle, Ryan Miller and Kaci Aitchison (Seattle)
The Great Sketch Experiment initially brought together 50 comedy troupes from across the country to compete for one of six slots to have their short films directed by John Landis, who has worked with comedy icons like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and many others.
"Working with a master director like John Landis has been a dream come true," said Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, co-founders of JibJab. "The Great Sketch Experiment is just the beginning of what is on the horizon. We plan on making JibJab a platform for discovering the worldï¿½s best up-and-coming comedy talent."
John Harrobin, vp of digital media for Verizon Wireless, said, "Mobile video has become increasingly important as entertainers look for new and innovative ways to reach their fans and with the Great Sketch Experiment on V CAST, our customers can be entertained by the best up-and-coming stars and one of the biggest names in comedy."
"We are thrilled to have been part of this incredible and ground-breaking experience," said Mark Sarian of the Mark & Ari comedy troupe. "Breaking in for a comedian is one of the hardest things to do ï¿½ from playing the circuit in venues located in the middle of nowhere to waiting by the phone for a call back. JibJab gave us the opportunity to work with John Landis and is putting us in front of millions of comedy fans ï¿½ you have to perform in a lot of theaters to get in front of that kind of audience."
JibJab is a digital comedy network founded by brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis in 1999. The studio's election parodies THIS LAND and GOOD TO BE IN DC! were seen more than 80 million times during the 2004 election, turning JibJab into an overnight, household brand, and leading Peter Jennings to name the Brothers "People of the Year." For more information, go to http://www.JibJab.com.