Andy Lazarus is a stand up comedian whose fans loved his Man-Teen routine. “Being the only single guy left and everyone’s married and has kids, it’s funny,” he said. So, he decided, with the help of his friend producer Brian Spitz, he’d take the act from the stage to the screen in a new webseries about a guy who just won’t grow up. Script sat down with Lazarus to find out what’s next for the self-proclaimed Man-Teen and its growing fan base on the Internet.
SCRIPT: How did you get the idea for Man-Teen?
ANDY LAZARUS: Truthfully, I got the idea from a girl who I dated who is a little older than me and vastly more mature. She tagged me as a “Man-Teen.” So, I worked it into my act. Then, my friend Brian Spitz got on board. We lived together and were always looking for something to shoot. I do stand up at the Comedy Store in L.A. and a couple people who had seen my act said, “The stuff we relate to the most is the Man-Teen bit. We could see a show about it.” Brian and I got together on that. And, I brought my writing partner Tony Jones to help me write it.
SCRIPT: Describe your writing process.
ANDY LAZARUS: We put together an outline for an entire season. You want to know where your main character is going, what he wants, what his journey is going to be. But as we go along, we’re not just sticking to that. We want to make it the funniest it can possibly be. We start with an outline as a guide or a structure but we aren’t afraid to adjust as we go.
SCRIPT: What makes Man-Teen stand out from other shows?
ANDY LAZARUS: A lot of the webseries have a lot of money behind them, but maybe the story isn’t so strong or the acting isn’t so strong. Or the humor isn’t well executed. Not that ours is perfect, we’re getting better, but we’ve got a lot of talented people working on it. The acting is really solid. The production is top notch. It looks great, it sounds great. There are some pretty good special effects. My brother edited the show, and the editing is fantastic. Originally, that was our idea. We would go on the Internet and get a gazillion followers and become a can’t-miss show that someone would pick up because it’s so popular and so funny and we would all get helicopters and bathe in money. That was the idea.
SCRIPT: What kind of feedback have you gotten on the show?
ANDY LAZARUS: The response has been very positive. The trick is really pushing it out there. The second episode got a 97% on Funny or Die, which is pretty high. We’ve had some good reviews on other websites as well. I haven’t brought it to any agents, and I haven’t tried to shop it yet. We’re still trying to figure out how to get more fans, so we have a little more leverage when we go into the meetings. We’ve got 10,000 total views between YouTube and Koldcast.tv and all the places it’s on. We’re looking to be more interactive with our audience in the future. The Man-Teen theme is an old theme. It’s like Peter Pan. Everybody knows a Man-Teen in their life, the one guy who won’t grow up and get married. So, in the future, fans can write in about their Man-Teens. We’ll have a contest and put up the best Man Teen story.
SCRIPT: What is the budget on this type of webseries?
ANDY LAZARUS: The first three were much more expensive, about a couple thousand dollars each. The fourth was about $100.
SCRIPT: What’s your advice to other writers who want to create their own webseries?
ANDY LAZARUS: Get as many talented people as you can. Surround yourself with people who are talented and funny and work hard and who are team oriented. That’s what we’ve done. I can’t say enough about the cast of the show. Terryn Westbrook, Jenny Weaver, Rome Kanda, Michelle Lazarus, Kirk Zipfel, Devon Gummersall, Matt Hoffman, Jay Larson… There are some really talented people doing this show. That’s a little different than most every web show that I’ve seen. If you don’t have any money, you should just go for it. Write stuff that you don’t need money for. We wrote an episode where Man-Teen turns a U-Haul into a strip club. We needed money to do that. But another episode we wrote took place in a restaurant and that didn’t cost much. If you have an idea that you want to do, do it. Borrow some money, put it on a credit card, take a risk.
You can watch the Man-Teen misadventures in all its glory at www.man-teen.com.