The Park School Welcome Back The Birthday Boys

11/13/2013

Contributed by April Johanns

 Ithaca College and the Roy H. Park School of Communications are excited to welcome back three Park School alumni cast members of IFC’s new original sketch comedy series, The Birthday Boys.

Mike Mitchell ’05, Jefferson Dutton ’05 and Chris Van Artsdalen ’05, who along with fellow Park School alumni Dave Ferguson ’06, Mike Hanford ’05 and Tim Kalpakis ’05, and Matt Kawalick, make up the cast of the show.

Please join Mike, Jefferson and Chris on Thursday, November 14, at 5 p.m. in the Park Auditorium as they screen two episodes of The Birthday Boys, meet the current students, faculty and staff and answer questions.

About The Birthday Boys

The Birthday Boys formed their sketch group at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Los Angeles in 2007. In addition to staging monthly sketch shows at UCB, they have performed at a number of festivals, including the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival. Their recent collaboration with Bob Odenkirk has produced a variety of live shows in L.A. and San Francisco. The group’s combined writing credits include IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang!, the MTV Movie Awards, and projects for Comedy Central, Fox, and Funny or Die. Members of the group have also appeared in The Office, Parks and Recreation, Childrens Hospital, Conan, NTSF:SD:SUV:: and Portlandia. Their most popular online work includes videos with names like “Ham Hat” and “Pooljumpers.”


About the Series
Executive producers Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show) and Ben Stiller (the upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander) bring viewers the genius of the Los Angeles comedy team that made a name for themselves at UCB LA and the Just For Laughs Festival. Along with honorary eighth member Odenkirk, The Birthday Boys ensemble includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen whose collective credits include Conan, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Portlandia, Funny or Die, Comedy Bang! Bang! and more.

With a nod to absurd yet intelligent legacy sketch shows Monty Python, Mr. Show and Kids in the Hall, the series appropriates familiar scenarios and classic TV, film and sketch archetypes with a fresh take. Drawing from the unique collaboration between Odenkirk and The Birthday Boys as writers, directors and performers, The Birthday Boys features both stand-alone and multi-act sketches that poke fun at real-life moments and cultural touchstones. From Steve Jobs and the rise of the personal computer, Lance Armstrong and the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs, to the hardships of trying to keep up with too many shows on your DVR — the series takes a hilariously skewed perspective on everyone’s shared experiences.

While all but one of The Birthday Boys graduated from Ithaca College in New York, it wasn’t until separately moving to Los Angeles that they began to embrace their comedic talent by joining the Upright Citizens Brigade. The Birthday Boys officially formed in 2007, quickly finding a local fan base and drawing the attention of emerging comedy purveyor Bob Odenkirk. As the Los Angeles Times stated, “[The Birthday Boys] material is refreshingly lighthearted ...and is grounded in their own kind of silliness.” With Odenkirk appearing in every episode this season, The Birthday Boys will most certainly continue to “favor the ridiculous” (Los Angeles Times).

Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Dave Kneebone and Mike Rosenstein of Red Hour will executive produce with Abso Lutely producing the series for IFC. The series is written by The Birthday Boys and Bob Odenkirk and co-directed by The Birthday Boys’ Chris VanArtsdalen, Jefferson Dutton and Odenkirk.

About IFC
IFC creates and champions authentic, original comedies that are “Always On. Slightly Off,” which air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and comedic cult TV shows. IFC.com features exclusive video, web series, podcasts, blogs and additional content that engages fans with IFC originals. The network's On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives viewers the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. Established in 1994, IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and is available in nearly 70 million homes on every major cable, satellite and telco provider.  

 

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact April Johanns at ajohanns@ithaca.edu or (607) 274-1789. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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