If there’s anything that deserves to be made fun of, it’s the hacky sitcom. Bad jokes followed by overly enthusiastic laugh tracks, punctuated by moments of treacly sentiment so thickly sweet your teeth rot. But all those elements are played up to perfection Yo Teach, a subtle online ad campaign supporting Judd Apatow’s upcoming movie Funny People.
As Videogum writes, Yo Teach appears to be one of those shows-within-a-movie (think: those fake movie trailers in Tropic Thunder), with Jason Schwartzman playing a teacher who connects with his class because he’s young and hip and has patches on his corduroy jacket. He even gets troubled student — played by piano-rapping YouTube sensation Bo Burnham — to appreciate that the greatest rapper of all time is William Shakespeare.
Who knew Burnham could act? He’s actually quite good when he’s not in front of a piano and a webcam. Hopefully Apatow’s circle of funny people will expand to fit Burnham in. (I smell a nutty, R-rated comedy about online stardom!)
The Yo Teach ad campaign seems to be pulling out all the stops. It has a dedicated section on NBC’s site, where it’s played as an actual show coming this September — there’s even a place to “order” season one on DVD.
And if I hadn’t been told this was to support Funny People, I never would have known. But thankfully Apatow knows that unlike the sitcoms he’s spoofing, he doesn’t need to announce that every joke is indeed a joke.