“We spend most of our time thinking about stuff that will do well online, and that’s something that will apply to any business,” Craig adds, drawing a parallel between comedy video success and corporate projects. “We have the corporate side, but Fatawesome is our baby.”
And that baby has continued to grow and post huge numbers. Well-worn skits like “Spider-Man’s Less Impressive Superpower” (sewing his own costume) and “Video Games From the Bad Guys’ Perspective” helped build their comedy brand, while a documentary-style video about a man (Parker) shouldering the burden of the world’s largest penis remains their biggest YouTube success to date, garnering more than 7½ million plays and counting.
“Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend” has not yet topped those stats, but it’s already done more for their careers. Craig and Parker now have professional management based in Beverly Hills, and they’re penning a spec script for the Comedy Central series “Workaholics.” They’ve also received interest in a pilot of original material. Since the people-acting-like-animals video was featured on the Huffington Post, Forbes.com, and “Today,” the pair reports it has had calls scheduled nearly every day with producers, writers, production companies, and development teams.
“Recently we’ve been getting a lot of guidance from people telling us what specific areas we should focus our attention on,” Craig says. “The majority of the calls have been introductions to people that have said they want to see our scripts as they’re finished.”
In addition to opening doors in Hollywood and New York, “Cat-Friend vs. Dog-Friend” also earned them some recognition in their own households.
“You tell your parents you got 6 million plays on YouTube and they go, ‘Oh cool. Don’t all videos on YouTube have like 6 million plays?” Craig jokes. “But you get on the ‘Today’ show. . .”
“That’s been the best part of this, having your parents acknowledge that you’re on the ‘Today’ show,” Parker adds.
Now that they’ve got the attention of their families and the entertainment industry – not to mention, the attention of about 7 million other people — they just need to decide how and when to take the next step. And whether that step will require relocating.
Louis C.K. is actually a good comparison for what the Fatawesome duo hopes to accomplish. On his wildly popular FX series, “Louie,” the Newton native is in full control: writing, editing, producing, directing, and of course, starring in the title role. Through their work at Methodloft and in Fatawesome, Craig and Parker have been able to develop a similar suite of professional skills, which they hope someday lands them their own program.
“We’ve kind of been able to do everything ourselves so we feel that’s what we can offer a network,” Parker says. “We can produce, write, and star in something, and in this day and age when they’re trying to make shows that are cheap, we feel that would be something they’d be interested in.”
They’ve already written a complete pilot and scrapped it, but Craig says one idea for their show is to make a “less cheesy” horror comedy in the vein of “Tales From the Crypt.” They believe they could even produce their own pilot or a film in Billerica if they had the capital. On Fatawesome’s website, the biography section doesn’t dance around this hope, plainly stating, “Please give us money to make a TV show or a movie. This is our job and there’s no backup plan.”
At this point, some would advise Craig and Parker to quit their day jobs and move to Hollywood or New York while there is still a wave to be caught. But from the comfort of their home terrain, where they’ve had success so far, the duo doesn’t feel the need to make that move just yet.
“If we got staffed in a writers’ room, it’s not a debate. We have to go,” Craig says, noting that TV shows generally hire their staff writers in the spring, so keeping tabs through the early part of the year is of the utmost importance. “For now, it’s cool we’ve been able to do everything from Billerica.”
And being local at times comes with some benefits. In addition to having a pool of willing friends for video projects, those people also help keep them grounded, says Craig’s fiancée, Jenna Dupre, who’s known both since high school.
“Jimmy and I were out this weekend and somebody recognized him [from his videos] and we made fun of him for that, not letting it go to his head,” she says with a laugh.
But if they do get beckoned to New York or California, they’ll have plenty of support, Dupre says. Continued...