Improv Boston Comedians Launch ‘Absurd’ YouTube Mini-Series
Brian Donnelly and Mike Varejao launch “Stepfriendz,” in which characters Mike and Brian become father and son through a strange marriage.
Two veterans of the Boston improvisation comedy scene are stepping out of the spotlight and taking their witty banter to a new YouTube web-series launching next week that tows the line between “raunchy” and “absurd.”
In December, comedians Brian Donnelly and Mike Varejao started working on their mini-series, “Stepfriendz,” which some have already likened to the iconic television show Pete & Pete, but calling it “more disturbing,” based on its outlandish content and unrealistic plot lines.
According to “Stepfriendz” co-creator Donnelly, the concept of the show is this: two life-long friends end up living together under one roof when Donnelly’s character marries Varejao’s mother. While the two main characters are the same age, the nuptials don’t only solidify the fact that Donnelly is now Varejao’s stepfather (the duo brushes off this fact as if it’s no big deal), it also makes them “Stepfriendz.”
“When we do these sketches, we make it as bizarre as possible, but keep it as straight and serious as possible,” says Donnelly.
There are currently five episodes finished, which include skits about everything from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to topics like black metal music and smut magazines about horses. In the premier episode, slated for Monday, Donnelly said the duo becomes telekinetic after getting their annual flu shot. “Most of [our skits] are based on stuff that we joke about. We both have odd senses of humor, and grew up watching shows like Kids in the Hall,” says Donnelly. “It’s like that, but a lot stranger. It’s different, but the whole way we write is based on our improv training.”
The most awkward part? Rounding up props for some of the episodes, like a cake with a picture of himself flexing while wearing a cowboy hat, or applying a temporary tattoo of “Krang,” a brain-like character from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, on Varejao’s stomach.
Donnelly says the mini-series might not be for everyone, but he hopes to capture a certain audience. “From doing improv all these years, you realize you sometimes do something a portion of the audience hates, but the other half really likes,” he says. “It has been fun.”
Below is the first episode of “Stepfriendz.” Check the duo’s website or YouTube channel for more.