NCM
Search for showtimes, movies, and celebrities  

Jake Szymanski - Biography

Date of Birth: N/A
Place of Birth: N/A
Nationality: United States
Showtimes Map icon

Biography

With a backstory that combines sheer talent with fantastic luck, Jake Szymanski got on board with the digital revolution in comedy at the perfect moment. A natural funnyman, Szymanski had been known to enact silly sketches for his family while growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, collaborating with his cousins on scenes full of family in-jokes. By high school, Szymanski was competing in his school's ComedySportz league and performing stand-up during open-mic nights at Milwaukee's Safe House comedy club, even though being under 21 meant being chaperoned by his mother. Not long after studying film at Northwestern University, Szymanski filmed a comedic video short at his family's home called "Friday Night Nights" (2007) in which he dressed up as an old-school, mustachioed football coach and offered tough but nonsensical advice. He uploaded the video to Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's then fledgling comedy website Funny or Die, just as Ferrell and McKay's own video short, "The Landlord" (2007) went live. "The Landlord" attracted so many views that it triggered a glitch in the website, redirecting a small but significant number of viewers to the most recently uploaded video: Szymanski's. The uptick in views brought Szymanski to Ferrell and McKay's attention. They were impressed by his chops and desperate for someone with creativity and skills in digital media to direct and edit most of the site's sketches. Szymanski was so excited to help his comedy heroes that he offered to do the job without money, but he was nonetheless hired on with pay as an important part of Funny or Die's team and directed over 100 videos. Szymanski would follow his tenure at the site with work in TV and film as well, directing several episodes of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975-) and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox, 2013-), as well as movies like "The Social Life" (2015) and "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016).


GHDWEB02