Web of weirdness


POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010

Damn the Internet, full speed ahead. Whilst attempting to get a little background on comedian Michael Kvamme, it was discovered that there is a Lockheed Martin aerospace executive of the same name.

What are the odds?

“;Rocket science is just one of my many hobbies,”; deadpanned Kvamme. “;I also got third place in a backgammon competition in Kalispell, Montana.”;

OK, then, how is your name pronounced? I mean, your last name.

“;It gets people all the time. It's actually pronounced 'Me'. The K, V, A, and the first M are silent. In Norwegian it means 'hard to spell.'”;

You might not know Kvamme yet, but you know his invention—comedy website Although other guys with deeper pockets and technical expertise made it a reality, the site is a proving ground, a test kitchen, a launching pad, for new comedy.

Patrons vote on the submissions. Either they're funny, or the submissions die or go into the Dead Pixel File or whatever it is that happens to discarded netcode.






        With Michael Kvamme, creator of


» Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.


» When: 8 p.m. Wednesday


» Cost: $25 general admission, $45 VIP


» Info: 589-1999 or


 is a simple concept that's quite sophisticated in its execution and in the way it understands new media. Still, Kvamme, who performs here Wednesday as the opener for comedian Bill Dawes, is pretty much overlooked as the site continues to grow. (It even has an HBO spinoff at the moment.)

“;I could never get enough credit,”; Kvamme whined unconvincingly. “;Even if they called the site 'Kvamme or Die,' I'd still want more. Like 'Kvamme or Kvamme.' Or just 'Kvamme Kvamme Kvamme,' but the abbreviation for that last one is a little risque.

“;FOD plans to overtake Google in the next year, and our focus is to own a small country by 2012. Or at least have a corporate fighter jet.”;

Has it actually put any money in your pocket?

“;Let's just say I make enough to refill my hot tub with oatmeal every Tuesday.”;

KVAMME SAID he'll have a stronger presence on the HBO show next season, and noted that “;HBO has been awesome to us and basically lets us do whatever we want.”;

“;We've accidentally become the 'SNL' of the Internet. Celebrities come to us and ask to be in our videos to promote themselves or something they are working on. However, we do generate most of our views from our FOD exclusives, which are made by FOD house writers and filmmakers.

“;Comedy is very subjective, and we have a very different sense of humor than what we like to call 'mainstream comedy,'”; said Kvamme. “;For example, most people find a person slipping on a banana peel to be funny. We, however, think it would be funnier if a banana peel slipped on a person.

“;Picture it. ... Weird, huh? FOD consists more of 'alternative' comedy, as it were.”;

Despite the heady combination of Internet fame and televised obscurity, the bills are paid by hitting the clubs, weekend after weekend. Although the recession hurt live comedy, the Internet created new demand.

“;It's all about self-marketing these days. Anyone can grab a fan base online by just making a video of themself and their cat on a treadmill.

“;The recession did hurt comedy clubs throughout the country. It was so bad at one point I had to change my name to Michael Jonas and join the Jonas brothers just to get time onstage. It was a really dark time in my life.”;

Kvamme said he's been to Hawaii many times.

“;I'm actually getting married to Megan Fox on Maui—once she returns my calls/e-mails/letters/drawings of myself as Rambo.”;

What's the next great comedy idea? We won't tell anybody. Promise.

“;A monkey telling midget jokes while riding a tiger?”;

Huh. Wasn't that already on YouTube?