POSTED Mon. Jan 27, 2014
Sunken City premiers today
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN
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If you like New Orleans, comedy and an excellent way of killing 10 minutes, then the Gods of the internet are smiling upon thee today.

Because Jan 27 marks the premier of Sunken City, a comedy web-series based in New Orleans. That said, ‘based in New Orleans’ doesn’t really cut at the meat of the matter; Sunken City’s comedic focus, atmosphere, scene, setting and place of observation is indelibly New Orleans, to the point that the city becomes both another cast member, punch line, laugh trigger and straight man.

In short, New Orleans is essential to Sunken City’s bit, and if you live here you’ll likely recognize some of the tropes that get a juicy skewer. In this episode, said tropes includes a tone deaf Uptown aristocrat who tries to rally the homeless behind his campaign to be crowned King of Rex and a haunted New Orleans tour guide who tries to balance supernatural sensationalism with being true to the history of the city. Previous episodes have included a ring of cheerfully clueless tech entrepreneurs who are trying to shop an ambiguous product entirely in empty slogan-ese.

CJ Hunt and Kyle June Williams, both of The New Movement, portray most of the characters in the show; backing performances include many of the other comedic satellites floating around the New Movement universe. Local favorites Katey Red and Alexis & the Samurai provide lots of this episode’s music. Those are heavy local chops in the credit roll, but it’s interesting to note that a transplant Point of View feels present within Sunken City; the wry observations of our city’s proclivities comes from a place that still manages to be wide-eyed and awed at this town’s weirdness. When you’re a native, sometimes said weirdness is normalcy; Hunt and Williams do a great job of exaggerating ‘normal’ New Orleans into a satire anyone would appreciate, that still holds particular appeal for someone who ‘gets’ the town.

Is that enough dissecting of a 10-minute YouTube clip? Probably. I’m just saying, like I said back in June, Sunken City is funny stuff. It’s local comedy with national production values and comedy timing. Having a locally brewed beer puts a city on a map; so do nice airports, green spaces and museums. Also: comedic sub-genres aimed at and birthed of the city in question. There you go. Kill 10 minutes, already. And keep tuned to Sunken City’s YouTube channel – new episodes will be premiering on a weekly basis.

Images courtesy of Steven B. Seipel and Sunken City.

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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

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    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

    WWOZ

    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

    PRC

    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

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    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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