Found Footage Festival to take on The Habitat

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Found Footage Festival to take on The Habitat

Courtesy of Student Program Board

Courtesy of Student Program Board

Courtesy of Student Program Board

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

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Found Footage Festival: turning your VCR trash into comedy treasure.

The Found Footage Festival (FFF) is the comedy duo of Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, and they are bringing their VHS clip-comedy show to Oakland University.

The premise of the Festival is simple, as Student Program Board (SPB) marketing director Samantha Miller explained.

“Pickett and Prueher find old footage in all sorts of places such as garage sales, Salvation Army, dumpsters, footage given to them by friends, etc.,” Miller said via email. “[Pickett and Prueher] do live commentary on the videos along with updates [on the people in the videos].”

The clip show format of the festival can seem like the standard “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (AFV)/“Tosh.0” affair, but Starr Brown – mainstage director for SPB – believes the duo’s comedy makes them stand out.

“[Their comedy] is kind of a mix,” Brown said. “From what I understand and what I’ve seen, they can do the wholesome comedy [of AFV] and they can do and mix in the edge [of Tosh.0], which is what I think makes [the estival] interesting and relevant to college students.”

According to the festival’s website, Pickett and Prueher began looking for weird VHS tapes in 1991, starting with the discovery of “Inside and Outside Custodial Duties,” a janitor instructional video found in a Wisconsin McDonald’s. After building a collection of safety videos, home movies, instructional tapes and workout videos, they began the FFF in New York in 2004.

The festival has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and NPR, and has been featured by critics for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The show has also been to the HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

While the duo’s comedy certainly is a key part of the show, there would be no Festival without the grainy VHS content. The videos have been drawing in audiences since 2004, and Brown believes she knows why it is still relevant over a decade since the festival began.

“It’s old things and things that you might never had seen if you had not come to [the festival], and old VHS tapes just have so much funny stuff on them,” Brown said. “Nobody digs through VHS tapes anymore because we don’t have any VHS players to play, so all of this old stuff is kind of getting lost in the modern technology. When you find video memes on Facebook and Twitter, you find Bob Ross and that woman with the sponge painting.”

To anyone on the fence about going to the 7 p.m. show on Feb. 7, Brown has this to say.

“[Pickett and Prueher] are super funny individuals, and everybody in our office has gotten a kick out of all the stuff we’ve seen from them so far,” Brown said. “We’re 10 different individuals with different interests and what we find funny is all different, so there’s something that everybody will find funny in the show.

“You’ll expect crazy videos, lots of laughter and to be thoroughly entertained,” she said.