SANTA MONICA, CA and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — JibJab, a digital comedy network, and Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless provider, announced today they have teamed up with renowned comedy film director John Landis to produce six laugh-out-loud short films featuring the best up-and-coming sketch comedians in the country for the Great Sketch Experiment contest. The six funny videos competing in the Great Sketch Experiment are available as of today for free at JibJab.com or on Verizon Wireless' V CAST service in the V CAST Showcase channel.
The winner of the Great Sketch Experiment, sponsored by JibJab Media Inc., will receive a $10,000 development deal with JibJab and have their performance featured on Verizon Wireless' V CAST service. Viewers can vote for their favorite video online at www.jibjab.com through November 16.
"The Internet has given new talent a way to reach directly to the public," said John Landis, Hollywood film director. "It is an exciting and ever-evolving new medium and I am happy to have been given the chance by JibJab to meet and work with fresh young talent."
The six finalists in the Great Sketch Experiment come from across the country and include:
- Karla Marion Austin Oberle and Megan Kellie (Los Angeles)
- Elephant Larry Alexander Zalben, Stefan Lawrence, Chris Principe, Jeff Solomon and Geoff Haggerty (New York)
- Riegel & Blatt Sam Riegel and Rob Blatt (New York)
- Mark & Ari Mark Sarian and Ari Voukydis (New York)
- Famous Last Nerds Erik Weiner and Jordan Allen Dutton (San Francisco)
- Train of Thought John Boyle, Ryan Miller and Kaci Aitchison (Seattle)
The Great Sketch Experiment initially brought together 50 comedy troupes from across the country to compete for one of six slots to have their short films directed by John Landis, who has worked with comedy icons like John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and many others.
"Working with a master director like John Landis has been a dream come true," said Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, co-founders of JibJab. "The Great Sketch Experiment is just the beginning of what is on the horizon. We plan on making JibJab a platform for discovering the world's best up-and-coming comedy talent."
John Harrobin, vice president of digital media for Verizon Wireless, said, "Mobile video has become increasingly important as entertainers look for new and innovative ways to reach their fans and with the Great Sketch Experiment on V CAST, our customers can be entertained by the best up-and-coming stars and one of the biggest names in comedy."
"We are thrilled to have been part of this incredible and ground breaking experience," said Mark Sarian of the Mark & Ari comedy troupe. "Breaking in for a comedian is one of the hardest things to do from playing the circuit in venues located in the middle of nowhere to waiting by the phone for a call back. JibJab gave us the opportunity to work with John Landis and is putting us in front of millions of comedy fans you have to perform in a lot of theaters to get in front of that kind of audience!"
Verizon Wireless customers with V CAST-enabled phones can now view and access all V CAST has to offer including music videos, recaps of hit television shows, movie trailers, plus news, sports and entertainment programming with either a monthly or daily subscription. Verizon Wireless customers can sign up for a $15 V CAST V Pack monthly subscription by contacting Verizon Wireless; customers with select V CAST-enabled phones can access V CAST right from their phones for a daily subscription of $3 for 24-hour use. Both the monthly and daily subscription choices offer customers unlimited basic video including the Great Sketch Experiment on JibJab in the V CAST Showcase Channel and there are no airtime charges to download, stream or watch V CAST video. Application download and content fees apply for 3D games and premium video.
For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 54.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About JibJab Media JibJab is a digital comedy network founded by brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis in 1999. The studio's election parodies "This Land" and "Good to be in DC!" were seen more than 80 million times during the 2004 election, turning JibJab into an overnight, household brand, and leading Peter Jennings to name the Brothers "People of the Year". JibJab has grown considerably since the election. Today, the company is comprised of the best and the brightest artists, technologists and business people, working hard to change the way comedy is created, produced and distributed signifying a true media revolution beyond which they first dreamed about in their Brooklyn garage. For more information go to JibJab.com.
JibJab is a registered trademark of JibJab Media, Inc. in the United States and other countries.####