Many people store boxes of old VHS tapes in their basements. If thrown into a VCR, those videos would probably replay moments of weddings, birthdays, and graduation ceremonies. But some of us have darker and weirder recorded exploits. If you’re one of them, don’t let Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher get their hands on your material. Since 2004, they’ve collected gobs of found VHS footage from thrift stores and garage sales and have edited them into bite-sized comedic pieces of toe curling fodder known as the Found Footage Festival. Last night at the Drexel Theatre in Columbus, a near sold out crowd enjoyed every wicked minute of it.
Joe and Nick have bottled their blend of embarrassment entertainment into 90-minute live comedy acts featuring delightfully awkward video clips and caustic commentary. They were in town for one night only to air the fourth volume of their festival, which contains unbelievably abysmal exercise videos, Saturday morning cartoons, dating service segments, sexual misfits, costumed animals, and unfortunate celebrity endorsements. For me, the highlights were the Chuck Norris cartoon that blurted his name every other phrase, an over-zealous knife and blowgun enthusiast, and a bumbling furniture salesman named Bargain Bernie who repeatedly squawked “I’m just trying to save you money.”
Joe and Nick will continue touring their friendly mortification roadshow through May. Relish at your own risk, and keep all of your old VHS tapes under lock and key.