“The best element to any good meal is surprise,” says Zac La Cremme in one of his YouTube videos. “You want your customer to take their first bite and go, ‘Whoa, I did not order that.’”
This Sunday, the very best chefs, restaurateurs, and bartenders in the Twin Cities will come together for the Charlie Awards, a peer-to-peer celebration. Comedian/actor Joey Hamburger will be there, too.
Hamburger, a long-time part of the local comedy and theater scenes, has been creating videos for the Charlie Awards the past couple of years. In them he plays Zac La Cremme, an inept chef who is heralded as a culinary genius in a series of comically pretentious video shorts.
“I don’t really follow recipes,” says La Cremme in a video. “It’s pretty common that somebody will come rushing into the kitchen and say, ‘What was in my food?’”
“He’s a goof of a really bad celebrity chef,” Hamburger says of his alter-ego. “He’s just really bad and makes inedible food.”
When one of his La Cremme videos was featured on Funny Or Die, Hamburger decided that 2020 would be the year he puts more effort into his filmmaking.
“I’ve been doing video since I was in high school and college, but theater always kind of took priority because it was so much more available and cheaper to get started,” he explains. “But then after doing these couple of videos and doing some video stuff for my job, I felt myself get reignited to hop back into it.”
La Cremme will be back for the Charlie Awards once again this week, this time presenting his very own “Master Class.” Meanwhile, Hamburger is going to be releasing a number of new videos online through Sheep Theater’s YouTube page, which Hamburger is a part of. The sketches will include some of his fellow Sheep Theater actors, as well as standup comedians, and even a special cameo by local news anchor/food critic Jason DeRusha.
“I’m really fortunate to be connected to so many talented standup comics and actors and producers, and I just wanted to utilize that network to make some really funny stuff,” Hamburger says.
The videos will be released in batches each week, starting this Sunday. A few sneak previews: Comics Greg Coleman and Tommy Bayer will make a botched attempt at pirating the airwaves to spread anarchist messages, and actors Iris Page and Josiah Thompson will take their motivation for fitness way too far.
“I’m really trying to utilize our creative circles to have a lot of different talent included,” he says.
As for the future, Hamburger hopes to continue upping the production quality and content of his videos as a way to introduce new people to Sheep Theater.
“It can be a really big leap for people who don’t normally go to plays to take a chance on going to see a theater group they’ve never heard of, so I’m hoping that these videos can help get people more interested and comfortable coming out to one of our shows.”