JK! Studios faced off with New York City-based sketch group Kids These Days in The Comedy Clash and got a unanimous vote from judges Chrissy Teigen, Jeff Foxworthy and Kenan Thompson to move on to the next round.
The Provo comedy troupe performed a sketch written by Brenna Perry, JK! Studios team member James Perry’s wife, depicting Viking leader Ragnar when he decides it’s time for some self-care.
“Going into this next round, we’re not going to change who we are, but we do want to show our range,” Mallory Everton of JK! Studios said before the group’s performance on the episode.
“We just want to go in and nail it,” Matt Meese of JK! Studios added.
Thompson told JK! Studios after their sketch he thought they were “awesome.”
“Everybody’s turning vegan these days. What if the Vikings had a vegan-type leader?” Thompson said. “That showed it was really smart.”
Foxworthy said watching JK! Studios and Kids These Days made him wish he was part of a sketch troupe. He also complimented JK! Studios’ Jason Gray on his performance as Ragnar.
“I loved it when you changed gears, and that’s what keeps it interesting,” Foxworthy said. “If you’re playing it at the same level, I get bored quickly.”
Teigen compared the sketch to the group’s “Happy Fun Friends” performance in the first round of the competition.
“In the Open Mic, it was so Kidz Bop and friendly, and then as soon as you came out, I knew it was going to be something different, which is what we love to see,” Teigen said. “We love to see people taking our notes and stepping outside the box.”
JK! Studios celebrated backstage after winning The Comedy Clash.
“This means my dad will finally respect my career choice,” Gray said.
“This means that the world is this much closer to seeing what JK! Studios does,” Stacey Harkey of JK! Studios added.
Jeremy Warner of JK! Studios told the Daily Herald in an interview following the episode he was “very excited” about making it to the next round.
“I was in more disbelief this time than the last time,” Warner said. “My jaw just dropped in slow motion and just got really wide.”
Warner said he was “flattered” that all the judges voted for JK! Studios in The Comedy Clash.
“It feels really great to have that confidence from them, and we just really want to run with that and continue doing our best,” Warner said.
Teigen tweeted about JK! Studios during the episode.
“My humor is so filthy that I really appreciate it when an act does something on the cleaner side and makes me laugh,” Teigen wrote. “The only other happy clean thing that makes me laugh is ‘Parks and Rec.’ JK! Studios is awesome.”
“That was super great. That’s super exciting. She has a large following, so maybe that will raise our profile a little more,” Warner said of Teigen’s tweet. “At least we know that she derived some laughter out of it, and that’s a good thing.”
JK! Studios chose to perform the Ragnar sketch in The Comedy Clash to “show some variety,” according to Warner.
“The last sketch we did, it was mostly just a song, but this one just really was more character based, and also, it’s a little bit more steeped in reality, even though it’s about Vikings,” Warner said. “But it does address more common things that occur in the world today, like yoga and dream journaling, more modern things. Whereas the last sketch was all about conspiracy theories and just really fringe stuff, this one tackled mainstream things a little bit more.”
The sketch also showcased Gray, who came out at the end of the group’s previous sketch on “Bring the Funny.”
“We kind of swapped positions in the respective sketches,” Warner said.
JK! Studios had a feeling they would be matched up against Kids These Days, another six-member comedy troupe on the show, according to Warner. He said meeting the group felt like a moment from the film “Shadows of the Dead.”
“It’s like a group of doppelgangers in the zombie apocalypse walking past each other, and it kind of felt like that moment when we were backstage and we met for the first time, but we hung out with them a bunch and became good friends with them,” Warner said. “Us going through directly resulted in the elimination of Kids These Days, and that was kind of a bummer.”
Warner said there was camaraderie among the acts on “Bring the Funny.”
“If there isn’t, it’d just be kind of miserable because it’s already hard enough to put yourself out there in a judging sense, to be judged, but also just doing anything that is creative,” Warner said. “It takes courage and it’s nerve-wracking and if you don’t have support, if you don’t support other people, then it’ll be lonely and sad probably.”
Moving forward in the competition is nerve-wracking and exciting, according to Warner.
“We made it through this round and there are still so many great acts,” Warner said. “We just want to do a good job.”
Warner said JK! Studios hopes to show the world what the group is capable of on “Bring the Funny.”
“Hopefully … it can lead to more work because really what we want to do is to be making shows and movies, and we’d love to get a show on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon or any of those places, or NBC. We’re not picky,” Warner said. “Our hope is that it gains us more exposure, so that we can find a network or streaming platform that can have a big reach and that we can continue doing what we love and share it with the world.”
JK! Studios’ “Bring the Funny” experience has showed the group how much they can trust and rely on each other, according to Warner.
“We had to do a pitch meeting right before we left to come up with these sketches,” Warner said. “Then it was all hands on deck to fine tune things and work things out, know what’s working, know what’s not, and really just trust each other on that.”
“Bring the Funny” and JK! Studios’ new online “The Summer of Purple” series mark a return to sketch comedy for the group, known for its work as the original cast on BYUtv’s “Studio C” and in Brigham Young University’s sketch troupe, Divine Comedy.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Warner said. “We took a little bit of a break. We made ‘Loving Lyfe’ and ‘Freelancers,’ which are scripted series, and it’s been fun going back to doing some sketch, so we hopefully will be doing more of it, but also making other things as well.”
Warner said no matter the outcome of the show, JK! Studios will take away that there are “a lot of talented people out there.”
“Keep your eyes out for good quality content because people are making it,” Warner said. “Hopefully … we can continue working with a lot of the people that we met and that just good things come from it.”