Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld have found a loyal following of fans that regularly sign on to see the duo quarrel throughout the College Humor offices. Did they have any idea their series Jake and Amir would be a hit? Not quite: They didn't even know they were making a series. Hurwitz talked to us about the show's unlikely evolution.
Fast Company: You started the show in 2007 and pretty quickly became a fan favorite. Any tips for starting a series?
Jake Hurwitz: We actually had no idea we were creating a series at the time we were doing it. I just thought Amir was so funny, and I had this crappy camera. We just made these videos and our friends started passing them around. It kind of grew from there.
FC: You won the award for Best Comedy Series at this year's Webby Awards. Your acceptance speech (in Webby style, it had to be five words)—"Holy f——ing shit, Buzz Aldrin"—got you quite a bit of attention.
JH: Yeah, it was a little vulgar. I was going to go up and say something about Amir, who couldn't be there, something like, ‘Hey, Amir's not here, you're disappointed.' And then I realized that most people in that room didn't even know who Amir was.
FC: How has the series given you more opportunities in the comedy space?
JH: Aside from this interview? College Humor has this great built-in audience that just got excited about our videos. We've gotten to put our videos more places than we thought we ever would. We get hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and the opportunity to have such a big and involved audience—especially on the Web, where everyone is vying for viewership—is great.
FC: College Humor is such a major comedy player. What's it like to be a part of that?
JH: I spent two years in college just looking up to these guys, wanting to work with them. And now I get to come in to this office and call them my friends. It's amazing. Both Amir and I are writers at heart, and the acting thing took everybody by surprise. But we're not very good at playing characters that aren't ourselves.
Read more of our Web Video package
A version of this article appeared in the September 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.