Join Ze Frank for an in-depth discussion in this video The show, part of Creative Inspirations: Ze Frank, Comedic Digital Savant.
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(Music playing.) Good morning, sports racers! It's Tuesday, May 16th. Knowledge is back in America. Don't give it an aspirin. Let's let that fever burn. The fact that I noticed in myself that I was holding on to particular ideas that I thought were particularly good, but I didn't feel like I had the resources, whether it be time or talent to execute them in a way that would be worthy of them, right? So you hold on to them and you say "when I have more time, or after I have learned a little bit more about this, or when I have a little bit more money, I am going to execute them for real." And then that time just doesn't come.
And it becomes for me, a real crutch towards sloth and towards procrastination. So my New Year's resolution for that year was to get things out as quickly and faithfully as possible. No matter how bad things get, at least you have those good ideas that you will get to later. Some people get addicted to that brain crack, and the longer they wait, the more they convince themselves of how perfectly that idea should be executed, and they imagine it on a beautiful platter, with glittering rose petals. Video was just starting again. Exciting.
YouTube wasn't around yet really. I mean, I think it existed maybe as a platform, but didn't get popular until the summer of 2006. I was a little dried up. I didn't really know what I was doing anymore. I felt like I was kind of just making to make things and I was starting to get really frustrated at the one-off nature of a lot of the little silly projects that I was doing. And I was like, well, what if-- would it be cool if you just kind of turned the camera on and the idea is that each show would be short, and you would go through it with conviction, but it would be a conversation with the audience, so you would kind of take the audiences' cues in which direction to go? Normally, I think that the instinct would be 'this is a show about something.' 'We are going to do something and over the next blah, blah, blah, we are going to do something.' This is how you interact. This is who I am.
And I tried to resist all of that. One of the first shows was the song, "Sports Racers, Racing, Sports." What is your power move? (singing) Sports racer! Racing! Whoosh! Sports! I call that move Thunder Claw. Collaboratively, the audience and I discovered what that meant. It basically ended up being that we were the sports racers and we were in a yearlong internship under the League of Awesomeness. And I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous and sort of silly, but it actually had meaning.
I mean it really had a very, very particular and powerful meaning within the show by the end. And so in that way an entire structure and methodology slowly built up. It's suh-suh-suh Something from the Forum Day. Crackerjackflashdance writes, "Can we go through a whole week and not have to hear about Bush or his government please?" Can we just have this week's theme be happy? Crackerjackflashdance, I wish, but it's a little more complicated than that. I have already decided that this week I am going to talk about the ethics of abortion as it relates to the Bush administration.
Today we are going to start by delving into the history of ethics. Ethics... Gurgle gurgle. (Gurling noises.) Duckies! A letter from the League of Awesomeness! It says right here that any comment read on the show must be fulfilled, as long as it doesn't interfere with Ride the Fire Eagle Danger Day! Then the theme of this week has to be happy! As punishment for my violation, the LOA requires that all sports racers dress up their vacuum cleaners and send in pictures. Oh crap! I feel like it's all my fault! But we are all in this together, right? I can do whatever I feel like doing. (grumbling) You throw in a certain amount of material that comes from some place within you, but it's not really intentional or deterministic.
So that the meaning of those things actually becomes created out of the interactions. So when we did photo contests, the community started, I mean, tons of these projects, and they were constantly going on. I challenged my audience to chess, in which we played over two months or so. At the end of a whole string of videos you will hear me saying chess moves. They started self-initiating projects, where they sent a guy across the country and back, and I think one month using only other fans of the show for lodging and travel.
You know, what was so fun about that was mashing together all these different things. The participatory side. There was music in it. There was political commentary. There was user contributed intros, and just like all these different angles that came together, but that's also what made it so incredibly hard to do. Really, I mean, the actual media that people associate with the show, the videos, were a veneer on top of something and that something has been vacated.
And so you can sense the veneer, you can sense that space, but it was something quite different during that time.