Black 20
November 18, 2007 8:07 AM   Subscribe

"Satire with the Blessing of Lady Luck Herself" is a review of Black20, the comedy site that started when a couple of disenchanted NBC writers decided to go off on their own. Why were they lucky? They made their startup budget by gambling everything they had at roulette, and won. They have produced a number of shows and viral videos that you might enjoy, such as Wheels , Sheffield Quigley: Professional Myspace Photographer, Bathroom Adventure, (pt. 2), Phortal, and Percussion Eruption.
posted by farishta (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If they gambled with their own money instead of other people's money, I'm not sure they quite understand this startup game.

I kinda liked "Percussion Eruption". It starts out slow but the second half was well-paced. It's all more wry than laugh-out-loud funny, though.
posted by dhartung at 11:38 AM on November 18, 2007

thanks. that was fun. i watched bathroom adventure, pt. 2, a date with ijustine, and part of coffe, coffe, coffee. very imaginative. i didn't laugh out loud, but i did smile a lot.
posted by msconduct at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2007

ok. and i just went back & watched sheffield, quigley, professional myspace photographer. in case you're wondering, yes; there IS a
posted by msconduct at 1:06 PM on November 18, 2007

am i the only person to think it was not funny or witty at all ?
posted by Substrata at 3:08 PM on November 18, 2007

Thanks for posting this! The fact that there's a "Viral" section rather than calling them short films made me a bit dubious, but I watched a few of the net_work series episodes (which apparently was nominated for a Broadband Emmy, whatever that is, but lost to the webisodes from The Office) and was entertained. The Date with iJustine was pretty good.

I also found the product of their work at NBC: The Easter Bunny Hates You.
posted by kyleg at 4:30 PM on November 18, 2007

Well, I think their videos are mixed - some are pretty good, and some are a bit more meh.

I do give them props, though, for getting out a show a day. That's tough to do on such a small scale. Good for them.

It's better than some of the meh out there.
posted by MythMaker at 6:25 PM on November 18, 2007

Huh, I tried "a date with iJustine", since kyleg linked it, and i closed the window after 2 1/2 minutes because it seemed so horrible.

They have nice cameras, I guess, but I kept waiting for a joke or... something. Was the irony that it wasn't funny? Am I not cool enough for this?
posted by blacklite at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2007

If you got past the guy picking up his spaghetti and meatballs with his bare hand to hide a gun that he killed his date with, and you didn't see anything amusing, then this might not be for you.
posted by kyleg at 12:21 AM on November 19, 2007

"They made their startup budget by gambling everything they had at roulette, and won."

Just for the record, places like Atlantic City and Las Vegas have become so famous and profitable because people like this go up to a table with everything they own and bet it all on black or red or the number of their Aunt Bertha's birthday or whatever.

Someone's bound to win sooner or later. That's probability. We always think Lady Luck will shine on us. She doesn't shine. She stares for a very long time, and on rare occasion, she winks.

Every once in awhile, a couple guys pool their resources and actually win? That means for every time that happens, there's like some ungodly number of people (incalculable number) who went up to that same table, lost everything, and we never make a front page post about those people. Do we?

I'm just sayin'.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:21 PM on November 19, 2007

Just for the record, there are 38 numbers on an American roulette wheel (1-36, 0, 00). That means for every time that happens, there's some finite, calculable* number of people who went up that same table and lost everything. Just sayin'. (Though I agree with your basic premise that this is piss-poor money-management, a bad way to get startup capital and probably the worst thing you could do with your pooled life savings ...)

*calculation: 38-1=37
posted by zanni at 12:44 AM on November 20, 2007

Someone's bound to win sooner or later.

Huh? Betting black, you'll win 47.4% of the time. The excitement here, I suppose, is that they bet *all* of their money (or, more likely, most of their savings).

That means for every time that happens, there's some finite, calculable* number of people who went up that same table and lost everything.

Yeah, about 52.6% of them. :)

If I were going double or nothing, I'd definitely go with craps, and save the maximum amount possible for the backing bet. That way, you get the best odds possible (both Pass and Don't Pass are over 49%), and the best payoff possible (even odds) on the backing bet. Just my2c.

I couldn't be bothered to watch the videos based on the write-up. Sounded too smarmy for me.

“I don’t know how my phone being off makes you look like an ass,” the video begins. “Your movie career did that.”

I didn't like Departed much, but I thought Alec Baldwin's performance was fantastic. Likewise, his Glengarry performance was an (over the top) instant classic.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:55 PM on November 20, 2007

Gambling, you say? I'm shocked!
posted by dhartung at 4:37 PM on November 20, 2007

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