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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

‘Dark Knight’ inspires parody featuring The Joker’s henchmen complaining about Batman

Improv is a long-standing love of mine. I was a religious watcher of Drew Carey’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and even tried my hand at performing improvised comedy while in high school and college. At Ohio University I was part of a group called Black Sheep. I had a lot of fun improvising scenes and games and performing during my time with Black Sheep, mostly because I shared the stage with a lot of people who were a lot funnier and more talented than me.

People like the guys who put together this video, which came to my attention when a friend I was in Black Sheep with posted a link on Facebook.

My friend me in touch with the men who put together the video. The three actors in the sketch are Luke Null, Travis Khoury and Patrick White (@PatrickBeige). The video was produced by Joe Lalonde (@joe_lalonde) and directed, filmed and edited by Alex Winfrey (@AlexMWinfrey) as part of Baby Mountain, a now-defunct sketch comedy group, in association with AVW Productions, a student-run media production house at OU. You can check out other videos from Baby Mountain on its YouTube channel or its Funny or Die page.

Baby Mountain was Winfrey’s brainchild, and the name was retired when he graduated this spring. Null also graduated from OU and the spring, but White, Khoury and Lalonde are still students at OU.

The video actually grew out of a running joke about how terrible Batman could be. As White put it, the jokes grew out of the premise that Batman was “literally the worst person in the world.”

When the group got around to actually filming it, it was the beginning of OU’s spring quarter. The actors, all members of OU Improv (a group that grew out of Black Sheep), did their own clown makeup and got together in the living room of roommates Lalonde and Winfrey for the shoot.

Once the camera was rolling, Lalonde said “Patrick, Luke and Travis just kept riffing off each other.”

All of the lines were improvised on the spot, though some were derived from earlier jokes or reshot after part of the trio burst into laughter.

“We did a ton of lines,” White said.

Winfrey said they shot about an hour and a half of video, which he didn’t get around to editing recently. He said he knew the “closer we released it to the release date of that (“The Dark Knight Rises”), the more attention it would get.”

Once Winfrey finished cutting the video down he uploaded the video on YouTube and posted it to Funny or Die. He also emailed Slash Film, a movie blog, and Slash Film featured the video in a July 9 post. The video was trending on Funny or Die after Slash Film embedded the link.

As of this morning, the video had a 95-percent funny rating on Funny or Die with about 900 views.


Bloopers and deleted scene includes some of the jokes that didn’t make the five-minute cut of “The Henchmen.”


The Dark Knight Rises” opens July 20. I’m super jealous of my co-workers Entertainment Editor Mark Meszoros (@NHFeatures), and Sports Editor Mark Podolski (@MPodo), who are getting an advance screening on July 17.

They’ll be doing a podcast with Chris Lambert, who writes for the News-Herald Community Media Lab blog Comics: Don’t Get Me Started, sometime in the next week, which will be posted on and right here on Tuned in to Pop Culture.

Their previous podcasts on this summer’s comic book movies were entertaining and definitely worth a listen if you’re as into comics and the films they spawn as I am. 

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