|Seventeen-year-old Andy Rimer is often assumed to be much younger. With his diminutive stature, huge grin, curly dark locks and thin nasal voice, its easy to take the recent high school graduate for a guy who just entered his teens. A while back, Andy effectively used his youthful appearance for effective prank purposes while putting together some demo video footage with his brother, Josh.
Andy would approach attractive young ladies with lurid pickup lines like, "Do you work for Canada Post? Because I swear you were checking out my package." Uttered with much false, boyish bravado, the lines prompted much varied and genuinely amusing reactions from the females.
Its lowbrow comedic stuff that is ever-so-watchable, and its typical of Andy and Joshs Brothers TV, which recently debuted on Albertas Access Network. A decade older than his brother, Josh is an experienced actor and dancer who has teamed up with his sprightly sibling to deliver a homemade TV show targeted at tickling the interest of mainstream TV execs.
The guys bought the air time on Access in a chain of events initiated by the shopping around of the Brothers TV idea at both L.A. and Banff TV pitch fests. "We got so much good feedback (from TV execs and producers) but they were all saying, youve got to get some episodes done," says Josh, "So we figured OK, well do some episodes, and then we thought we might as well air these shows if we are going to make them."
"We want to prove ourselves and see if we can get ratings on Access," Andy adds. Garnering significant viewer numbers with a 1:30 a.m. Friday night timeslot may be an uphill battle, but there is no diminishing the enthusiasm of the Rimers. They have high hopes for their initial batch of four Brothers TV episodes. "Our target market is 15-to 30-year-olds," Josh explains, "so I figured people in that age range are usually up at that time anyway. Were hoping its not going to kill us that we are on so late." Non-night owls can catch the show, unaired footage and other goodies on the pairs web site www.brotherstv.com.
In addition to scripted sketches, having fun with average people on the street is a key component of the series. The Rimers see their street stuff as quite different from the pranks pulled on programs such as CBCs Just For Laughs Gags and former MTV mainstay Jackass.
Regarding comparisons to those shows, Andy confesses, "I was worried about that. But our show is so different. First of all, the fact that it is two brothers doing everything changes it." Of on-street antics such as playing around on 17th Avenue S.W. in full hockey goalie gear, Andy says, "Theres tons of reactions at once. Its not like picking on a particular person each time, like they do on Just for Laughs Gags."
Avoiding mean-spirited antics is a priority for the brothers, according to Josh. "Andy (who does the most outlandish stunts) was always pretty big about that because he didnt want to do Tom Green-type stuff or be like Jackass." When it comes to stunts that hurt peoples feelings or truly scare the crap out of folks, Andy says, "I dont want to do anything like that."
If early Brothers TV footage is an indicator, Josh and Andy dont have to stoop to the Jackass level of depravity to garner legitimate laughs. They just have to continue doing the stuff that amuses them.