In the Summertime and the Weather is Hot..
The presence of Cajuns in popular media has certainly increased over the years with institutions like Swamp People and Cajun Pawn Stars. And, its had a place of its own going back decades through the work of Justin Wilson and Paul Prudhomme.
However, a whole new voice in Cajun humor is rising from the steaming Magna-Lite pot that is Youngsville, LA that has taken that cayenne-spiced sense of humor to the interwebs. In a span of less than three months, it’s netted over 3,000 subscribers to his BobbyDotComTV YouTube channel that has its five most viewed videos averaging roughly 60k views each.
And who is this Cajun Carlin? This Bayou Bill Hicks? This South Louisiane Seinfeld? Well, he’s some couillon from Churchpoint baw, and, frankly, I think he may be the funniest thing to come of out the Bayou State in a long time. Mais, join me as we pass a special edition of JMLC as we introduce you to Ashley Reese of CajuNerd Media, the creator of “Tundaminous!”
Ancient Gods of Oil and Flour, Give Me The Power…
For those of you who are not yet aware of Tundaminous, Reese broke out with his edits of Thundercats episodes that he re-voices in his pitch-perfect Churchpoint accent (and various other voices that he and his collaborator Tony Blanco offer) to introduce the viewer to characters such as Lioneaux, Pantro, T-Snarf and even the ghost of Lioneaux’s father Ol’ Pa Pa pitted against the evil Mum-Roux (a former television Cajun chef who turned to Voodoo to help make his food magical). Riddled with humor by, for and about authentic Cajuns, The Tundaminous series (now 9.5 episodes strong) finds a way to joke about the day-to-day lives of these Cajun Thundercats all while avoiding the ham-handedness found in a great deal of Cajun humor.
AR: “You know what I call that kind stuff? Like…. The Bobby Boucher Minstrel Show(laughs). I mean, I came from the most authentic Cajun place on earth and I understand that what we do is funny already. I don’t need to do all that(laughs). I mean, and this isn’t a slur against anyone or anything, but I watch Swamp People and I notice that this man, Troy Landry, is the most authentic Cajun person I’ve ever seen on TV in my life, period. But he has never uttered a phrase or cursed in French. Not one time! You know he does, but they edit that out, so with my show, I’m proving it now that people from elsewhere are gonna watch this and if they do, they are gonna want to know what this crazy coonass is saying, they gonna learn what gardez donc means! (laughs).
The latest installment is episode is #9 named “Poke Mange Go” that Reese quickly turned out as the wave of Pokemania began sweeping over the nation last week,
AR: “I scrambled to put that together (laughs). I did that over the last two days and really it wasn’t too bad but I was working on something else all together and I was like, wait a minute. I can speak to what’s going on now, so… “
And that’s not his first uber timely effort. An earlier episode (Episode 7 – Tunda-Storm) not only mentions KATC’s Rob Perillo but features the man himself guesting on vocals after a huge backlash against the Lafayette weatherman after his severe weather reports interrupted the May 19 Season 12 finale of Grey’s Anatomy. But even all of that was just the beginning.
It’s a Lil’ Story About That Starship General Mouton and That Long Long Mission, Sha…
Reese’s sophomore effort arrived in the form of the early 1970’s Star Trek: The Animated Series bearing the name of “Couillon Quest” where the crew is “searching for that mythical planet Couillon” and will be “lookin’ with dem little eyes dem for new forms of life… to serve over rice” and quickly led to a growing series of commercials and short infomercials featuring familiar faces such as “Billy Mais-la” with his “Oxy Cotton Clean” or ‘T-Vince” with his Pie-Yow Comme Ca (Slap Chop). Reese says that the commercials were kind of an inevitability.
AR: “A proven formula for YouTube success, on a very big scale, is to do over dubs, and commercials, [they] are perfect fodder. It’s content that you can crank out daily. But you can watch my takes on much of the same content that’s been done out there and my approach is wayyy different (laughs).”
Not only that, but Reese is now also using the channel to feature work from other artists including those friends made in his years of being a fixture at all the big Gulf Coast Comic-Cons. So far, he has offered up two pieces from Mississippi-based “Voltage” with a short called “Mr. Dr. Pepper Sniffer” and a 45-minute documentary about the disappearing “film” theaters in the digital age called “Slow Buttery Death.” Reeves says that since it is a channel, he figured he should treat it like one.
AR: “You know I want to be a platform, too. Now that I have an audience, I don’t wanna be selfish about it. I mean, a channel in and of itself is just an endless bucket of entertainment, so why not treat it like a channel and get other people’s content? I plan to be an outlet for people that don’t have that kind of audience.”
As he’s looking for new mediums (including puppets, just to give you a heads-up), Reese says he’s in at this point and knows that the sky is the limit for him going forward.
AR: “As long as I keep pushing and don’t mess up too bad–which I don’t think I can do at this point unless I did it deliberately–as long as I keep making content, it will keep growing. Whatever the limit of it is, I’m not there. It’s this validation that I can fuse my culture that I was born with with the culture of my adulthood, the Comic-Con culture. I’m not going anywhere and my audience is growing. I hope that I can live up to the “Master of Cajun English” or the “King of Cajun Voice Overs” as the press has already called me. I hope that I can be right in the days to come, not just right for two and a half consecutive months and I firmly believe that if you just keep at it, great things can happen.”
Regardless of what the future holds for Ashley and CajuNerd Media, I give him the official JMLC Seal of Approval and hope desperately that you all tune in and see what this very talented, insightful and terribly funny, funny guy has to offer. I for one, can’t wait to see the next one, podnahhhhh!
Something Is Happening Here…
A HUGE merci to Ashley Reese for joining me fa dis, but now its back to work baw…
July 29- 30
Marshland Festival – Lake Charles Civic Center
The annual Marshland Festival returns to the lakefront and offers no less a musical lineup than ever! The two days of music will feature Keith Frank, The Flamethrowers, Louisiana Express joined by Swamp Pop legends Johnnie Allan and Tommy McClain, Geno Delafose, Jamie Bergeron and MORE! Tickets are $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday and more information can be found at wqww.marshlandfestival.com. MAIS, GO CHECK OUT DAT SHOW, BAW!!!
Kool and The Gang – Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino
Seventies legends Kool and The Gang are making their way to Delta Downs on Saturday, July 30. I had the pleasure of working with these masters of funk a few years back and can promise you that Robert “Kool” Bell and the whole “Gang” are ready to bring you a show you will never forget! More information and ticketing info is available at www.deltadowns.com/whats-new/events/kool-and-the-gang GO SEE DAT, SHA!
Ya’ll Start To Embarrass Me. We’re Supposed to be an Industrious People
Well, I want to close by apologizing for the column written above. As odd as that may sound, it’s necessary because of the litany of great content that I just didn’t have room to squeeze in. Some of my favorite bits of that interview couldn’t make it to the printed page and for that, I apologize to both you the readers, and to Ashley himself. I am very, very sorry…
Mais, wait! There’s MORE, baw!!!
Since I can’t get all this Cajun goodness in this particular write-up, I’ve decided that at some point over the next few weeks, I’ll be launching the companion to JMLC in PODCAST form, so stay tuned for “It’s Justin Morris Podcast, We’re Just Listening To It,” the first of which will feature my interview with Ashley Reese in all its Cajuuuun (and at moments, NSFW) glory with more relevant and reflective content to follow! So keep reading for details or follow my Justin Morris Entertainment page on Facebook to get further details on “JMPC” in the days to come.
As always, thanks for “tuning in” and feel free to email me with your thoughts, questions and /or inflammatory statements to [email protected].
Until next time, in whatever medium it may be… VOUS VOIR A LA FETE, SHA!!!!