Framing Steven Briggs’ Web Comedies

If you follow comedians on social media like I do, it’s always a pleasant surprise when you feel like you’ve discovered someone new. 

That’s part of the fun, isn’t it?  Not just clicking on the latest 5 minute clip from Anthony Jeselnik.  But in fact finding someone new.  Award winning comedian Steven Briggs is “new”, though he’s been at it for a short while and is making incredible strides.  I, for one, am a fan.

His short-form videos are non-consecutive, non-linier, and non-unfunny.  Very well structured stories which always have a satisfying payoff, Briggs brings his own terribly unique outlook and embodies sort of a random universal element to all his, for lack of a better term: short comedy films.

Larf Magazine caught up with Briggs on the set of his latest film venture:

LARF: What inspired you to put so much craft and effort into what essentially is an episodic web-series?

BRIGGS: I wouldn’t call it a episodic web series because most of them don’t connect with each other. I would call it sketch comedy. I started out writing short sketches and then accumulated a bunch to where I wanted to see them made. I didn’t know how to get them made so I invested in a camera, editing software and taught myself how to make them. The goal was to eventually get them to come out the way I saw them in my imagination.

“John leguizamo is one of my biggest influences.”

LARF: Are you tracking the numbers? How are they?

BRIGGS: Yes, it’s weird. Some that I think will do nothing end up doing the biggest numbers.

LARF: How many episodes have you produced and how many more are you planning?

BRIGGS: I’ve lost count now but it’s over 100 sketches. I plan to keep on doing them because for me it’s a very satisfying creative freedom. Also it’s a great excuse to get together with friends and play around.

LARF: How long does it take from concept to finished product?

BRIGGS: That really depends. For example I wrote a sketch that required a horse and buggy. That took me months to find.

LARF: What kind of team do you have?

BRIGGS: At first it was just me. As the sketches started getting better I got some really talented people that wanted to help.

LARF: Where are you originally from and what brought you out to Hollywood?

BRIGGS: Originally born in New York. Landed in Hollywood on accident.

LARF: You recently won some kind of stand-up award?

BRIGGS: The presidential comedy festival. That was a incredible experience. Ryan Schendzielos put together an amazing festival and I would recommend it to anyone.

LARF: What do you ultimately want to get out of the videos? For example, would you like to direct a feature film one day? Or are you “selling” you as a comedy actor?

BRIGGS: I love writing. Currently I am working on finishing up my 5th pilot. Through making these videos though I have had to work every position on a film set and directing is a lot of fun as well and would like to do that for a feature some day.

LARF: How would you describe your character in the films? He seems to be hapless and yet likeable.

BRIGGS: A lot of my characters are like that. I like to find problems and work my way through them with the character in a unconventional way.

LARF: Who are your filmmaking and comedy influences?

BRIGGS: John leguizamo is one of my biggest influences. I grew watching John and have seen all of his one man shows and read his books. I love how he created something for himself and still continues to do it.

LARF: How are you finding being a stand-up on the LA circuit?

BRIGGS: I like it a lot. It’s very diverse and constantly keeps me motivated.

LARF: What’s next for you?

BRIGGS: I am going to continue producing the sketches but am also going to start producing some bigger projects. I am already in pre-production for one that I am very excited about.

For more info on comedian/filmmaker Steven Briggs, as well as performance dates, visit his website.

SAG 6/26/19

 

 

British Comedy Nite Premiers at legendary Hollywood & Cat & Fiddle Pub

This February 25 Los Angeles will see the grande premier of its first official British comedy night, well if you don’t count the losers’ dressing room of The BAFTA’s.  

They say there’s nothing new under the sun.  Well, that’s fine, because there’s almost always something new under the moon when it comes to Los Angeles nite-time entertainment.  Whether it’s a new vegan Aboriginal food truck craze or an app that hooks you up with 27 year old’s who know how to find the coolest hippest yurt raves, LA has always been beyond cutting edge.

Whilst there’s always a new young comedy specimen or a hundred, randomly blowing into town from the mysterious Santa Ana’s, there are always new comedy theme nights popping up to accommodate.  Comedy shows in coffee houses, dive bars, bookstores, laundromats, bus stations, emergency rooms.  Every year, thousands upon thousands of young big dreamy-eye’d comic upstarts, give up the sensible life in Smalltown, USA, say goodbye to Mom and Dad, drive out west, hole up on a couch, grow their beards, tatt up their arms, and work during the day slinging cappuccino for a living so at night, they can refine their unique angst millennial who gives a shit point of view, all in a vague effort to reach for the stars and settle into a comfy life of money, touring and epic film and television careers.  And those are just the lady comics.

So, when someone is trying to do something unique, different, I always wish them well, then place a one-way bus ticket outta town in their breast pocket, and start humming Midnight Train to Georgia.   However, this time, a particular new show caught my eye, which is gonna be at one of the finest eateries and bars in LA, the legendary Cat & Fiddle Pub. In its new location on Highland Avenue, just above Melrose. I’ve got the man behind Bangers & Laughs, here tonight to tell you all about it.  Larf Magazine is very excited to bring him to you. So, it is with great drunken prejudice, that I want to introduce to you an old institution, a comedy legend of sorts, an old geezer for damn sure…

Please welcome, all the way from Putney, Souf London, Nigel Arrisson!

LM:  How are you sir?

NA:  I’m lovely, and you?

LM: Well, frankly you should know how I feel without asking me.

NA: Why’s that then.

LM: Because, in case you’ve forgotten, you are a fictional creation of mine.

NA:  Oh, yes; that’s correct.  So, how can I help?

LM: No, it’s just that I want to help you promote your new comedy night.

NA: Well, I must say, I’m very excited about it frankly.  I’m excited for Steven, first of all.  He’s not been in London in 10 years and he’s missing it so.  He loved it there and they seemed to love him as well.

LM: And, how did you come about?

NA: Well, you see, Steven created me.  A simple canard brought forth by Steven’s impatience with Angelinos.

LM: How do  you mean?

I, Nigel Arrisson from Putney, am the compere, the host if you will. Steven will not be there Monday. I will be.

NA: Well, you must understand; that although Steven was born in New York and grew up in Beverly Hills and Phoenix, and raised and trained as a comedian here in lovely L.A., he didn’t really completely flower as a comic until he went to England.  He stayed there (on and off) for nearly 20 years.  That’s quite amazing when you think about it.  Anyway, while living and working over there, Steven became, how should I put this, he became more than Anglified.  More than just a fan of British culture.  He became part of it and in turn British culture infused in his brain and refused to leave.  That’s how I was born.

LM: Wait a minute.

NA: Take your time.

LM: You’re saying.  No. When I say “you’re”, I mean, you Steven are saying, that…

NA: Let me stop you right there.  For all intents and purposes, Steven Alan Green doesn’t exist.  Nigel Arrisson exists.  In fact, from my particular point of view, Steven Alan Green is a fictional creation of my mind.  True, “Steven” is producing Bangers & Laughs at The Cat & Fiddle Pub in Hollywood, a night of great British and American comedy, set in a British pub and done in full British tradition, but I, Nigel Arrisson from Putney, am the compere, the host if you will. Steven will not be there Monday. I will be.

LM: Well, either way, you have a great line-up.  Matt Kirshen, Cole Parker, JJ Whitehead, Jim Coughlin, and the great Barry Sobel!

NA:  Yes, and we expect to have a dedicated heckler, just to heckle me, mind you, none of the other acts.

LM: Of course.

NA: Plus there will be a joke telling contest.  For a free pint!  It’s only $15 minimum purchase to see the show and with our special $15 Pie and Pint special, you get into the comedy show for free!

LM: What time?  Where?

NA: Monday, this Monday February 25th @ 8:30pm.  The Cat & Fiddle Pub @ 724 North Highland Avenue.  Above Melrose on the east side of Highland.

Cat & Fiddle Pub

Bangers & Laughs Facebook