To understand Joel Ruiz, you must first accept that sometimes the least funny thing can be the most funny.
Ruiz, a local comedian and entrepreneur, made the conscious decision to call his new video production company Evatt & Bloom because it sounded nothing like a comedic video production company.
"I’ve had people tell me they think it’s a law office or retail furniture store," he said. "It’s just the last names of two of my best friends. They don’t have anything to do with the company at all. It just made me giggle."
Ruiz has been performing comedy in town for a number of years at clubs like JJ’s Bohemia and The Office. He’s also produced and starred in several sketch comedy films. Recently, he’s taken all of these elements and put them under the Evatt & Bloom name.
"I’m trying to get the branding better for the comedy shows," he said.
In addition to standup, Ruiz has been working closely with Chris Dortch, founder of Mise En Scenesters. The two are currently producing five original sketches from scripts written by Ruiz.
The first of these sketches, "Car Texting," was released this week.
"The basis for this first one was from an ex-girlfriend of mine who used to read my texts while we were driving," Ruiz said. "What if I was cheating on her and that’s how she found out?"
Ruiz has already written other sketches, which will be released every Monday on the Evatt & Bloom YouTube channel.
"We’re going to try and get some new actors involved," he said. "The idea is to eventually throw all of these together for a 22-minute sketch pilot and see what kind of response we get."
As for ideas, Ruiz is adamant about producing original content and not "parody" sketches à la "Saturday Night Live."
"Parody sketches are like the cover bands of sketch comedy," he said. "I’m not looking to make fun of something else; I want people to like our original stuff."
In addition to the five sketches, Ruiz has been working on more sketch projects and a series called "Cooking for Single Dads." He's also producing an unnamed project about zombies.
Evatt & Bloom is also seeking actors for upcoming projects, according to Ruiz.
"We’ve had a ton of people ask us about acting in these sketches," he said. "Surprisingly, most of Chattanooga’s acting community has no experience with film. We want to give them that opportunity."
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