When you’re hunting for a new comedy web series you might not instinctively look on the Bonnaroo YouTube channel Bonnaroo365. The long running music and arts festival’s channel has so far been populated with music videos, performances and snippets from previous events. The crowds might flock to their hugely popular annual festival but so far their YouTube channel is lacking a big audience.
Adding to their catalogue of videos they recently launched their first proper web series; Universally Speaking starring comedian Rob Cantrell and follows his surreal life as he goes about his daily life and has conversations with inanimate objects. Throughout the series Rob sorts through his life laundry by talking to a lamp, a cactus, a flirtatious queen chess piece and a tree (voiced by Greer Barnes) that’s got a sure fire investment opportunity for Rob.
This simple premise is well executed and the quirky humour is appealing even if it does become repetitive, on the downside what’s most jarring about the series is how out of place it feels on the channel. I’m all for Bonnaroo embarking on a web series but as there’s little else of this ilk on the channel, it does currently stand out.
Each episode is barely 3 minutes long and the premise is one you either go along with or take an instant disliking to, personally I found the series so far to be mildly enjoyable and a encouraging sign that Bonnaroo are going to develop more original online comedy to diversify their content. There have been four episodes so far and surprisingly none have broken the 1000 views mark yet, although this is a new thing for Bonnaroo there is the nagging sense they don’t quite know what to do with the series.
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has long standing ties to stand up comedy so in some ways it’s surprising it has taken them so long to get on the web series band wagon. Since winning the first season of Last Comic Standing in 2003 Rob Cantrell made a name for himself writing/directing and appearing in projects for Comedy Central.
Recently Bonnaroo drafted in David Cross to announce their comedy line up for this year’s festival. Hopefully this is a sign of new things to come in the near future and Universally Speaking is certainly a small step in the right direction.