Comedian Kurt Braunohler has made a career out of exposing audiences (and strangers) to the hilarity of the absurd. But with his upcoming webseries from Comedy Central, he's out to prove that absurdity can be a force for good.
His plan? Jet-ski from Chicago to New Orleans as a means of raising $50,000 to give 500 goats and 1,000 chickens to hungry families in Africa. Comedy Central will be filming his epic aquatic journey, and he's planning to stop by St. Louis on May 31.
"I've been obsessed with inserting stupid moments into strangers' lives to make the world a little bit better," says Braunohler, describing his oft-repeated philosophy on life. "But now we're racking it up a level."
The upcoming show, Roustabout, will track Braunohler when he sets off by jet ski from Chicago on May 29. He says he'll be traveling along tributaries to hit St. Louis, where he'll pick up the Mississippi River before continuing south. The plan includes a brief land crossing on the way to the Tennessee River, and eventually -- after a bit more meandering -- he'll reconnect with the Mississippi and enter New Orleans' French Quarter on June 5.
"At first I wanted to jet-ski across country," he admits, "but then we couldn't do it across country because that's impossible."
The thing to keep in mind, however, is that his wonderfully deranged quest is really about providing goats and chickens to African families in need. Braunohler explains the gist of the stunt with a video on his Indiegogo page. Fittingly, he's surrounded adorable goats.
Roustabout will be structured around Braunohler's stops along the route, but he needs some help for an episode set near Missouri's Land Between the Lakes region. He's looking for matrimony-ready couple who are comfortable with a somewhat nontraditional ceremony.
"I'm an ordained minister, and I'm looking to marry someone on a jet ski," he says. "The couple will be on a jet ski, I'll be on a jet ski, our crew will be the wedding party, and it should be a nice, kind of stupid wonderful thing to do."
Stupid wonderful is a good way to describe Braunohler's body of work. He lives by a code of guerrilla pranksterism that started with him and a friend dressing up in giant penguin-ish mascot costumes mock-fighting on the streets of New York.
"Ideally I would like to turn this Web series into a TV show where we could do really cool things and weird things and also help people," he says.
"That's what's so great about he show," he adds."The world is our absurd, weird oyster, and we can go anywhere with this."