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Pat Stansik is one funny guy, and the Internet agrees. His instantly-viral comedy shorts, such as “Bros vs. Hipsters,” “I’m 24,” and his new hit music video “Tall Blonde Girl,” have attracted almost three million views on YouTube. Not too shabby for a guy only two years removed from undergrad at the University of Michigan.
I had the pleasure to chat with Pat, and get a behind the scenes look at the making of his videos, college life in Ann Arbor, and what it’s like to be an Internet sensation by the age of 24.
What was the inspiration behind “Bros vs. Hipsters”?
Before I became a student at the University of Michigan, I was a Division 1 lacrosse player at Bucknell University. There wasn’t much to do in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania besides study and drink, so I spent most of my free time doing the latter, usually while surrounded by 40 other testosterone-driven teammates and lots of attractive girls. When every guy at a party was the best player on their high school team and only gets to go out one night a week, things tend to get highly aggressive and competitive, so I witnessed a lot of “broing” out during my time there.
I decided to transfer midway through my junior year of college because I wanted to study film, and once I started classes at Michigan, I found myself caught between the two worlds. I was lifting weights while wearing a lacrosse pinnie in the morning, and watching French Avant-garde documentaries while taking notes in my Moleskin notebook at night. I’ve always felt like more of a “bro” because of my athletic background and partying habits, but there was definitely a point during that year where I was more of a hybrid. The idea for the video came about when I realized that some people on campus thought I was a “bro” and others thought I was a hipster.
Your Wolverines are having a nice little season in the Big Ten, thanks, in part, to the play of quarterback Denard Robinson. Earlier this year, you came out with an homage to the man they call “Shoelace,” entitled “I Love You Denard.” What’s it like knowing that your video singlehandedly inspired Denard and Co. to end the four-year losing streak to Michigan State?
It probably had more to do with the fact that Michigan is getting further away from the Rich Rodriguez-era, but it’s pretty cool just to know that Denard has seen the video. I made “I Love You Denard” to pay homage to him for staying at Michigan through tough times and because he epitomizes what a “Michigan man” should be, but it was also an opportunity to make fun of some of my friends who are a little too emotionally invested when it comes to college football.
Having said that, it can be incredibly frustrating to watch someone who will probably be a wide receiver in the NFL play quarterback for your college team. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to traditional Michigan football (and having a slow white quarterback) after he graduates. A lot of my friends went to Michigan State, so it will be nice to only hear about how their girls are hotter until next year’s game.
People across this great country are asking- what does it mean to get “Denarded?”
Denarded: an extreme state of inebriation, either in celebration of watching your quarterback make an 80-yard run where it looks like he’s jogging, or to forget one of the multiple interceptions he will inevitably throw (even though you know he’s trying his best, and you’re taking into account the fact that if Ryan Mallett hadn’t transferred, there would have been a much smoother transition from the Lloyd Carr-era to the Rich Rodriguez-era, and hence less pressure for Tate Forcier to step into a starting role his freshman year…only to burn out…leaving just one Division 1-worthy athlete at the quarterback position on the entire roster).
What’s the best Ann Arbor bar to get Denarded at following a gridiron win by Big Blue?
Rick’s American Cafe. When I was a student at Michigan, a typical post-game celebration would start at Scorekeeper’s Bar & Grill (a.k.a. Skeeps), shift to Rick’s around midnight, and end with me either sucking face with a girl on the dance floor to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” or eating an entire pepperoni pizza by myself in my apartment. Not much has changed since I graduated except for the fact that I no longer go to Scorekeeper’s. I know I’m too old to still be going to Rick’s, but I’m way too old to still be going to Scorekeeper’s.
If you want to know more about both establishments, I wrote this mock syllabus called “AMCULT 315: Rick’s vs. Skeeps” during my senior year at Michigan.
I highly recommend you read that. Comedy gold.-JParks
Screenwriting degrees: Totally worth it, or total bullshit?
A little bit of both. It’s definitely worth it to take a screenwriting class if you’re looking to learn about story structure and how to come up with a marketable concept, but it mostly comes down to spending as much time as possible actually writing (unfortunately, watching YouTube videos of jaguars fighting anacondas doesn’t count), and trusting that other people will be able to relate to the ideas that you feel are worth making.
Right now, I enjoy making my own videos, because I’m completely in charge of every aspect. But my biggest goal is to get a job making videos for a website like Funny or Die. Further down the road, I want to write for television and film. Writing for Saturday Night Live would be my dream job. I love The Lonely Island and their Digital Shorts. To be able to do something like that on the show would be unreal.
Tell me about “Pre-Gaming with Pat.”
The first video on my YouTube page is called Pre-Gaming with Pat: Mustaches for Michigan. I shot it on a Flip cam for fun before the first home Michigan football game of my senior year, and posted it thinking only my friends would watch it. After I graduated, I worked at an advertising agency in Boulder and didn’t have a great experience, so I moved back to Ann Arbor. I didn’t have many videos at this point and no one really knew who I was, so I decided to take the concept from the original video with more professional equipment and interview people on campus before every Michigan home game.
The first season turned out well, and it really prepared me for the videos I’ve made recently. I’m currently almost finished with the second season. This will probably be the last season, unless I can find out a way to do it at different schools across the country each week next year. I can only film inebriated college students for so long, but it was fun while it lasted.
“I’m 24” painfully hits home with all of us fresh out of school. What’s the better life: undergrad student, or being a 24-year old multi-thousandaire?
I hated the whole “going to class” thing in college, but everything besides that was great. Everything about getting older is pretty depressing, but now I don’t have to worry about school or athletics, so I can focus more on making videos.
Gotta go with undergrad student. Trying to be a real person is pretty awful.
I think “Were You Listening To ‘Call Me Maybe’?” is my favorite comedy sketch that you have made to date. Two-parter: What makes Crae-Jay’s music so magical, and Call Me Maybe: Great song, or greatest song?
Even if you’re a heterosexual male, you can’t deny that it’s a catchy song. We came up with the idea for that video that morning and shot it that night, and by the time I was done editing it, I was already sick of it. Great song, but definitely overplayed. Popular music is popular for a reason. Just make sure the door to your room is closed if you choose to act like I do in that video.
You recently released a new music video called “Tall Blonde Girl.” It’s hilarious, but c’mon, man- why the hate for the short, brunette, Kelly Kapowski’s of the world?
With most videos I make, I don’t really think about the real world consequences until after I release it, but during the making of that one, it definitely crossed my mind. One of the bittersweet things about getting older is that my friends are starting to get married, which means I get to embarrass myself at their weddings, but I also realize that I’m going to settle down eventually. The video isn’t meant to be a dig at short/brunette/redhead girls, it’s just a shout out to all of the Blake Lively’s of the world. All I know is that if I do end up marrying a short brunette girl, it’s going to be really awkward when she sees that video.
If you really want to turn some heads for all the right reasons the next time you get Denarded, be sure to pick up your very own Pre-Gaming with Pat or Multi-Thousandaire flair. Also, don’t forget to Follow Pat on Twitter, Like Pat on Facebook, and Subscribe to Pat’s YouTube Channel.