Voices in the Bathroom

UnCommon Ground - Voices in the Bathroom

Tom Richner ’97 and Dan Ewen ’96 premiered a web series, Greg and Charmaine, on Will Ferrell’s comedy website, Funny or Die, in December. But before their big premiere, the title characters made a stop at Swasey Chapel.

In the debut episode of Greg and Charmaine, a new web series on Will Ferrell’s comedy site Funny or Die, the couple from outside Atlanta jump on the Star Wars bandwagon to debate the merits of Boba Fett, that famous bounty hunter. Charmaine thinks his crimes don’t quite line up with the horror of his own death. “I didn’t say he deserved it,” Greg says. “I do not hate Boba Fett. I drew him on all my Trapper Keepers; I get the allure … But we can talk about him without acting like he’s Jimmy Carter or something. He was a bounty hunter. He disintegrated people.”

The series, written by Dan Ewen ’96 and animated by Tom Richner ’97, is a hilarious peek into married life (with five kids) in the New South. Just like the title characters, Ewen and Richner admit the collaboration was a tad unconventional. Ewen and his wife, for example, recorded the voices for the scripts in their California bathroom—“Where all the pros record voices,” Ewen says. They then sent the recording to Richner, who worked on The Simpsons for six years, for animation. The humor is witty and dry, and the situations they find themselves in are slightly outrageous. In the follow-up episode, “Charmaine Needs Her Space,” Charmaine applies to a NASA program that plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars. “This is not like the composting, which I came around on,” says Greg. “This is you going to another inhospitable planet to live in a room, eating Dippin’ Dots astronaut ice cream ’til you’re dead.” We’re guessing Charmaine stayed home.

Funny or Die operates on the premise that viewers can vote for videos with a “funny” rating or a “die” rating. The “funnies” are then picked up to continue. The “dead” are sent to the site’s crypt, where they can still be viewed, but won’t live to see another episode on the site. After launching in December, Greg & Charmaine was sent to the crypt. But we beg to differ with its current status.

Published May 2016