Volume 93, Issue 67

Friday, January 28, 2000


Weekend Pass

Santilli a scintillating solo

What's all the Buzz about?

Red rise from ashes of indie folk favourites

Apollo 440 supplies musical mix


What's all the Buzz about?

Gazette file photo
IF THE WHOLE COMEDY THING DOESN'T WORK OUT, THEY CNA PROBABLY FIND WORK DOING OXY ADS. Cherubic comic wonderkids Daryn Jones and Mista Mo bring their post-adolescent witticisms to BUZZ, premiering on the Comedy Network Monday.

By Luke Rundle
Gazette Staff

When three troublemakers hit the streets with a camera and smart-assed humour, it can only result in mayhem.

At least, this is what the Comedy Network hopes for when it premieres one of the most anticipated comedy shows of the season, BUZZ, Monday night.

Originating on Rogers Community Access television, BUZZ consists of nothing more than co-hosts Daryn Jones and Morgan "Mista Mo" Smith cruising the streets, looking for every opportunity to poke fun or joke with passers-by. The concept may resemble another successful program that airs on the network, The Tom Green Show, which shares a production company with BUZZ.

The show originated three years ago, when a 17 year-old Jones met up with stand-up comic Smith and his friend Mike McKinnon, a Rogers volunteer member, at a Yuk Yuk's comedy show. "They were going out there [to shoot] and I asked to be part of the show," Jones recalls.

"Essentially, the show was nothing more than going out on the street with a camera and just talking to people. We had no money, no real idea, we were learning how to make a T.V. show from the bottom up. Once we started figuring out the ins and outs, we got a bit more aggressive with our ideas, going to parties and trying to track down celebrities and making our street bits more intense."

The trio agrees their guerilla tactics are what lends the show its edge. "We're asking the questions that other people don't ask. Like when you're walking down the street going, 'God, look at that guy. He looks like a psycho.' We go up to the people and do what the average person wishes they could do but is afraid to," McKinnon says.

Jones feels the unscripted segments also stay true to the impromptu dynamic. "The idea is three guys go out with a camera and do what interests them. We want to keep that cable feel. It's something that's accessible to everybody."

Working for the Comedy Network, after their experiences with strict Rogers Network guidelines, has allowed the three to better realize their comedic vision, as has their association with the production company MTR Entertainment. "MTR is really hands-off, so they let us do our thing and give us total freedom like they've given to Tom Green," McKinnon says.

"With Rogers, there was a lot of censorship. We'd hand in a show and they'd chop it up and say, 'You have to take this word out, you can't put this and that, take that whole segment out.' The Comedy Network is totally uncensored – totally opposite in the freedom we had before, so we really get to explore our comic minds and come up and do anything we want."

Though the crew has high hopes for the show's success, BUZZ has already yielded them numerous benefits outside of its scope. Jones received a brief on-air gig with Toronto-based Youth Television, as well as a slot on CISS 92 FM's morning show. Smith has an album being released which is based on one of BUZZ's characters, a stereotype-obsessed musician named Country Mo Dee, who raps over country and western twangs.

"We just wanna push it as far as we can. If there's interest, we're going to go after it," Jones declares. Smith interrupts with, "And saturate the market," to which Jones adds, "Until the people are sick of us."

However, the crew considers the biggest fringe benefit to be the general state of confusion they inflict on their targets. "Joe Mantegna grabbed me by the throat and swung me around," Jones laughs.

"That was fun. But people are normally pretty good when you put a camera in front of them. They don't realize what's happened until after it's done and that's kind of the fun watching it, imagining people saying, 'I can't believe these guys are getting away with this.'"

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