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Ze End of The Show 47

theodp writes "Before YouTube caught on, there was Ze Frank. Slate mourns the loss of The Show, which came to an end last week after a 365-day run. Sorry, Sports Racers. 'The result was a new kind of improvised conversation/performance art. Ze beamed himself out to a worldwide audience and gathered them into a universe of his own devising. A wiki sprung up, with fans completing a transcript of every episode. Ze also gave out missions, such as creating the ugliest MySpace page and building an "Earth sandwich," which consisted of placing pieces of bread on exact opposite points of the globe. It was this "live" element that made the project not-televison, not-boring, and ultimately fleeting.'"
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Ze End of The Show

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  • Re:Funny Stuff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegnu ( 557446 ) <`thegnu' `at' `'> on Saturday March 24, 2007 @07:30AM (#18469493) Journal
    I'm normally quite cynical about "average Joes" trying to turn themselves into celebrities on the Internet.

    Well, yeah, me too. But Ze Frank was around for YEARS making funny little video clips, cool flash animations, etc. before I ever heard his speak. I just found out about The Show on Valentine's day (Googe, anyone?), and I'm mega depressed that it exists no more.

    I guess I mean that Ze is not an average man, he's a super man. Or no, he's not a celebrity. Or something. Plus, who's NOT an average joe (besides, of course, Orlando Bloom, because that man is sexy)?
  • by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <> on Saturday March 24, 2007 @07:54AM (#18469585)
    I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Show near its start, it was actually the show that convinced me to get a video iPod as an emergency distraction for a two week family vacation.

    Ze's brand of humor really has a way of getting me to smile and the 'projects' that he he came up for the sports racers were often touching in a way. I think my favorites were the ones tied to the whole saga [] of [] Ray [] and not just cause it produced laughs.

    I'm going to miss having a daily dose of Ze humor to cap the day with, but since the ORG [] will still be around, I think I'll be able to manage.
  • by my_2_cent ( 955472 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:01AM (#18469833)

    I used to watch zefrank. I liked it so much, I wanted to download the show to my computer so I could watch it when -- well, when I watch *shows*. I don't watch shows when browsing.

    So I asked ze about making his show available to BitTorrents. Yeah, I know, but he said he wanted to control his thing and I respected that. He wanted everyone to come to his little carnival tent and sit down on the benches, watch his amusing show, and then sit there and watch the dog & pony show. d&p was essential, because it paid the bills. Plus the web site was where "the community" would develop, and it did.

    But ze burned himself out (IMO) because not only was he making the content, he was building and running the web site, building his community and paying large bills for bandwidth.

    I don't watch TV when I browse the Internet. If I can't download it and watch it when I want, I won't watch. That is why I stopped watching the show. Did that kill the show? I'm sure it didn't, but we should all really care about why ze frank stopped the show. ze frank was a perfect example of a slick little gem of a performance idea that had legs. If it died because ze frank just got tired, well, OK. But if it died because it didn't ever have a hope of turning into something that sustained ze, then we should all be concerned and try to figure out why.

    YouTube isn't the answer. Not everyone can get a slot on The Daily Show or the Colbert Report. Most talented folk don't have the stamina to do it all themselves -- content, bandwidth, webmastering, selling advertising. What is the answer? Maybe ze will come up with it. I hope so.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend