On Thursday, Sept. 29 the Memorial Union Student Organization (MUSO) presented a night full of laughter by hosting the Found Footage Festival (FFF) in the Stafford Room of the Memorial Union Building (MUB). This one-of-a-kind event presented a collection of videos that have been found over several years. The sources of the collection range from thrift stores to warehouses, garage sales and dumpsters. FFF curators and hosts Joe Picket and Nick Prueher are responsible for uncovering most of the footage once thought to be lost: A strange dance video of a speedo clad man covered in condiments as he performs in front of a senior audience, an ‘80s talk show about grisly wounds and a questionable cooking segment on Thanksgiving leftovers; these are just a taste of the obscure finds that could be seen at the FFF.
Founded in New York in 2004, the FFF has since been touring all over the world, averaging 120 shows a year. Along with sold out shows, including the HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, the FFF has been featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
“This whole thing would not have been possible without boredom,” Prueher said. “Boredom and this unbelievably ridiculous McDonalds training video that I took home was the inspiration that began all of this.”
The event is a guided tour of the most recent compilation of VHS finds. Pickett and Prueher provided live commentary, along with where-are-they now updates on the people featured in these videotaped oddities. With a constant ripple of laughter coming from the audience, it was easy to say that the performance was well received. Afterwards, a number of students and fans hung about after the event to joke and talk with Pickett and Prueher.
“This is our fifth time here at UNH, and as cliché as this sounds, UNH is one of our favorite places to entertain,” Pickett said. “There are quite a few students here that have reached out to us, and this stop provides some of the most returning fans of our shows.”
With the semester now in full swing, an evening full of the strange and awkward, and the silly and the gross, is what many students needed. It was a welcome respite to forget about priorities and laugh at the absurdity of the videos.
“The Magical Rainbow Sponge video was my favorite,” sophomore Rachel Coughlin said. “I have an exam tomorrow, so this was a perfect way to de-stress for a couple hours.”
Senior civil engineering major Sean Chamberlin was a returning fan for the year’s show. “You see a lot of weird stuff; I highly recommend this show to anyone,” he said.
The next time you see an ad for the FFF, try to attend. With the embarrassing nature of the footage, and an awkward sense of voyeuristic style viewing, the FFF has something for everyone to laugh at. Just be careful, because every video is memorable, and you cannot un-see things.