Announcing the NewTeeVee Top 10 Breakout Video Stars of 2008

Jake and Amir

Jake and Amir evolved organically since May 2007, with more than 100 short episodes released. Amir Blumenfeld plays Amir, the slow kid who overcompensates and has a huge mancrush on Jake (played by Jake Hurwitz), the guy who sits across from him at work. Somehow simultaneously outrageous and deadpan, Jake and Amir emerged this year as an example of a web-native show that’s effortlessly good.

Besides its excellent comic timing, the show benefits from being so close to reality; Blumenfeld and Hurwitz are actual coworkers at the popular web site CollegeHumor, where they work on original video content. And recurring bits reward repeat fans — check the Wikipedia page for a list of motifs. One recent episode kills despite zero dialogue — it’s simply an IM conversation between Jake and Amir while sitting at their desks.

You’re not small fry when rumors of an MTV pilot based on your show get treated as credible. (We shall see what actually happens!) Recently Jake and Amir broke into user participation: fans made trailers for a hypothetical Jake and Amir movie, and when a phone number was mentioned in one of the shows as Jake’s actual cell phone, some fans were ecstatic to get through; others got a very full voicemail box.

I.M’s from Amir on Vimeo.

(Liz Gannes)