Eight years ago I gave a terrible speech for a class on the moon landing conspiracy. At the conclusion of my rhetorical mess a peer named Kaleb Smith suggested to me that it was Pink Floyd who had first landed on the moon. He was an audio/video guy, yet the layout of the campus made it so that I hardly ever saw him. I knew then that I saw a character of comedic value, but I didn’t know how hard he’d have me laughing all these years later.
Social media isn’t all bad. Trolls aim to do their worst, but good people bring their best, and Kaleb Smith offers it up with consistent material. He posts video segments that range between twenty and ninety seconds a pop. While the themes vary the great consistency of his work is derived from how character driven it is. One motif of his work is that of an individual who has had enough, and lashes out in the great fury of emotion that simmers beneath the surface of most people. My personal favorites include a midlife crisis at the office, and a Medieval/fantasy showdown from the most foolish of knights.
On his Facebook page Kaleb says, “this world is sad enough,” which motivates him, “to slap a smile on its face.” He describes the snippets as, “Comedy through a little stocky tattooed man.” Through his work I see him playing against the tide of the sadness he interprets from the world. His characters struggle through their casual foolishness. Confusion and injustice drive many to their comedic outbursts. Smith’s feelings lend a hand to the stereotype of the sorrowful comedian, as one can catch a glimpse of the entity behind the characters.
He delivers exactly what he intends, as his punch lines play towards the darkness, but does more to expose the light. The entirety of his current catalog appears to be the work of a singular person, juggling the writing, acting, and technical duties. It has an honest DIY vibe throughout, which I find adds a peculiar charm to the comedy.
Of course it comes off with a lightheartedness that I’m failing to address, here. Smith seeks to make us laugh, and often it’s a simple procedure that he administers with the careful hand of comedic madness. While some of his clips highlight the tensions and conflicts of human interaction many are fun for the sake of it.
Yet all artists develop. Producing media comes with the idea that one’s methods would sharpen, skills continue to develop, and equipment gets replaced with better equipment. Any given scenery in his work assists in giving Smith that DIY charm, but his most recent production is the first installment of the ‘KPDragon Show’ which has the sleek giveaway of a green screen backing him up. Watching it seemed to offer the honest jump in development, and took nothing away from the appeal of ‘lower’ quality productions.
The five-minute segment seems to be made up of various sketches that are strung together. Smith makes social commentary by breaking PC boundaries in a way that plays on satirical traditions, and even concludes on one character suggesting literature to another after a ridiculous tirade.
The great sampler: