Brennan Murphy is a digital producer and comedian living in Brooklyn. He is currently working on the digital team for Showtime’s Our Cartoon President and creates funny viral videos on the side, which you can check out on YouTube or @brenonade.
This week, Murphy spoke with me about watching the news, editing clips, and Photoshopping visual jokes.
This is my baby. I was editing another video of Raj Shah when I realized he kept looking down. I remembered I had a fidget spinner (my sister and I had bought MATCHING ones) in my backpack — found an actor and elements and shot this on my phone!
How’d you get started making these videos?
After interning at The Late Show a couple years ago, I felt very “level set” by being surrounded by so many driven and creative people. I took what I had learned from the people there and made use of breaks during the day to watch news clips, trending videos, [and] translate them to Adobe Premiere.
I was watching an idiot’s speech and they said an idiot thing. In this case, it made for a great opportunity to turn a Skyrim image meme I loved into video form.
How long does it take you to make one of these, from thinking of the idea to publishing it?
It totally varies. One time I took a whole afternoon teaching myself how to make a flag Trump was hugging look like it had whining human lips. Usually it’s like: I am watching a thing and noticed X. X would be funny if I applied Y to it; how can I digitally create XY?
The original footage for this came from a class I took in college where I made the joke while it was played: “Lol my dating life,” when the guy kept saying “rejection.” I immediately, after class, made that joke into video form.
Do you write jokes on other platforms, and if so, how do they differ from these?
I’d probably be embarrassed by how many iPhone notes I have that start with “good tweet” or “meme idea.” I often find when I’m making videos that I come up with ideas for other videos. It feels like absolute sorcery when you are able to properly translate video ideas to image/text ideas. Bypass your own parameters!!
Lots of people are really unique and love pizza, dogs, The Office, and “Mr. Brightside.” This video shows what I and everyone else sees when they download and start using a dating app.
A lot of your vids are political. Do you have a preference between political topical jokes and evergreen jokes?
Any joke that has somewhat of an impact is what I tend to prefer. For example, to think that it’s possible [that] at least one person learned who Raj Shah is from that fidget-spinner video makes me incredibly happy.