March 11, 2013 -- To quote a number of mostly miserable young people attempting to sell comedy tickets to tourists in Times Square: "Do you like comedy?" If so, you might really enjoy JASH, a new YouTube channel created by comedians Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Reggie Watts, Tim Heidecker, and Eric Wareheim to showcase new digital content by one another and other comedians.
In this very sleek promotional video, the creators of JASH share their inspiration for the channel. To quote Heidecker, "You know what's exciting about JASH? I don't know. But that's what we're going to find out."
The group was at SXSW to discuss the new venture -- which helps comedians create and promote their work by providing them with, as their press release touts, "financing, production resources, editing facilities and personnel," as well as a share in the revenue generated by their funny video content. The group took some time to explain the name of the collective. As Silverman explained, JASH stands for "Just Attitude So Hey." Write The Hollywood Reporter:
The acronym came later, over dinner with Silverman's co-founders: Michael Cera, sketch duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, and rap-comic Reggie Watts.
"Literally, we were at a restaurant and Tim said, 'Just attitude!' Which is so Tim," Silverman told The Hollywood Reporter over a barbecue brunch shortly before the site's official kickoff. "And then Michael Cera said, 'So...hey?' Which is so Michael Cera."
Silverman also shared that there's no sort of focus group-type testing to determine how a JASH video will do -- it is simply "a place to do stuff and fail or not fail," and that "stuff" will be presented across different pages within the YouTube channel, each curated by one of the comedians involved.
While at SXSW, the group also participated in a Reddit AMA, where they dispensed helpful life advice, discussed which instruments they would play in a band, and shared a bit about the sexual energy of their comedy collective ("pretty neutral" to "deafening")
The move yet another example of comedians who are creating and promoting original content over the internet, from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Funny or Die, to Louis C.K.'s (lucrative) decision to broadcast a comedy special online, to the myriad unknowns trying (and sometimes succeeding) in making it big by posting their funny impressions, video sketches, and their own original web series across online platforms. The internet might prove the toughest room of all (Who isn't a heckler online?), but if anyone is able to cut through the noise and get people's attention, it's the people behind JASH. And Psy.