Billerica Duo Spends Time Pulling Pranks on People in Public
With MTV’s Punk’d defunct and the gags from Jackass all but a memory, the brains behind a local company, made famous by their techno-remixes of Arnold Schwarzenegger talking, are trying to fill the void where pulling pranks on the unsuspecting public once belonged.
The Billerica-based outfit “Fatawesome,” started by two high school friends with a penchant for taking strange storylines and creating laughable moments in the form of YouTube skits, has extended outside of their boundaries of prank phone calls and awkward online comics, and has been riling up pedestrians in places like Boston Common, and on the city streets, in candid camera-style fashion. “We’ve been doing comedy together for a long time, but it wasn’t until the end of college that we had our first taste of viral success,” said co-creator of Fatawesome.com, Jimmy Craig, referencing their video “Turtle Boy,” where they painted a friend green like a Ninja Turtle and made him do Kung Fu moves in their backyard while they sprayed him with a hose.
That little clip landed them instant Internet fame as well as hat tips from VH1, G4, The BBC, and a Tokyo-based television station.
Since then, Craig, and his partner in comedy, Justin Parker, have launched their own video production company, Methodloft, creating web promos and commercials while working on their skits on the side in hopes of making it a full-time paying gig. “It was about two years ago that we created a new YouTube channel, focused on creating original content and started to amass a following. Our video Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend was featured on the Today Show and has nearly 13 million views now. We were also cast in a Food Network hidden-camera show that aired in the spring,” said Craig of their successes so far. “We’ve started the process of pitching to television networks and we’ve also had the door opened to do commercial content for some bigger brands. We’d love to have our own TV show, but in the meantime we’re happy producing content for YouTube … which we are planning on doing even more regularly.”
Recently, the pair has set their sites on going after the poor souls sauntering through the city, pulling pranks on them as they pass by. Last month, Fatawesome.com released a video of the pair trying to hand out free money in Boston, recording the awkward interactions between pedestrians and themselves. For the most part, Bostonians didn’t bite, and only a few people took the free money while most avoided the comedians at all cost (Craig blames it on the fact that they were carrying clipboards, noting that no one likes clipboards).
In their latest stunt, however, they descend on Downtown with a miniature bed and pairs of tiny pajamas, and ask their victims if they would be willing to put Parker’s foot to sleep in a video called, “Foot Fell Asleep Prank.”
Reluctant strangers mostly laugh or keep walking as Parker sits on the bench, but some do stop and even go as far as dressing his bare foot in pink-trim pajamas before tucking into the tiny bed situated under the park bench. “We’ve filmed a good amount of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day. We’ve also had pranks go horribly wrong,” said Craig, when asked if it’s hard to keep a serious face when conducting these types of social experiments. “They’ve even been broken up by the police.”
But this particular plan went off without a hitch. And Craig and Parker plan on keeping it up.
Below is the video for “Foot Fell Asleep Prank,” which was posted on Monday: