Monday, January 2, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 1: Family Pizza Meeting

"If I find out one of ya'lls is goin' fresh, I'm gonna shove a hockey puck down ya throat!"
And now, back to subpar content!
While last year I set out to make a masochistic, 31-day list, this year, I'm halving it and subtracting 1.
The main issue is that I'm leaning less on Youtube as a form of entertainment - that's not to say there aren't certain channels I gravitate towards, but I've kind of gotten over the daily process of checking as many times as possible throughout the day. Basically, long story short, I've never felt so detached from watching Youtube and yet, never so content.
That's probably why most, if not all, of these entries are from the first half of last year.
And, as per tradition, we're starting with Olan Rogers.

You just have to appreciate Olan, okay? He's a guy who creates content solely out of a love for the craft, and it's satisfying to see the pay-off not only in ridiculously good videos but in his life (see: Final Space, his dream project recognized to be produced under Conan O'Brien for TBS). But enough excessive pandering.

Family Pizza Meeting is the sequel to Family Pizza, a video about the DiGiorno brothers getting paranoid about and trapping a Dominoes pizza delivery man. That's obviously a vast oversimplification because you should probably watch that video before watching this one.

The video takes the form of a gathering of the figureheads of frozen pizza companies (helmed, of course, by Johnny and Paulie DiGiorno) as they try to find which one is secretly attempting to go fresh. And yes, it's as absurdly humorous as it sounds.

The subject of the video obviously leads to an unexpected and amazing payoff, but getting there plays into Olan's delightful convoluted style - it's a style out of an admiration of tangents, but while still understanding the importance of staying just barely grounded. For instance, Johnny discusses whether or not the Bermuda Triangle is made of pizza while Teddy Tombstone (of Tombstone Pizza, naturally) sits on, ominously remarking about putting the rat in a grave and the like.

The end, however, is masterful absurdism.

I think my enjoyment out of this comes from its great similarity to a personal favorite video from Balloonshop, Olan's first foray into the medium - "The Sargentos," centered around two Mafiamen having a confused man over for dinner under the impression he's applying for a job "down by the docks." While I love this video more, "Family Pizza Meeting" allows for more interesting character development. The former had Olan going for broke and screaming for a solid 20 seconds whereas Johnny is more contained, though there are still those shimmers of insanity that help ford the sketch to victory. (That was awful phrasing and I guess the sketch is a boat now.)

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