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Local, funny, late night

Local animated series gets late-night Comedy Central showcase

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Shmitty, McFunkle & Stump”

There's generally not much of note on TV at 4:07 in the morning on a Wednesday, but that's exactly when you could have tuned in to see an episode of Shmitty, McFunkle & Stump, the three-minute cartoon series produced by Vegas locals John Massé and Chris Allen of Maslen Entertainment. The show airs on Comedy Central Monday through Thursday nights throughout May, typically between 2 and 5 a.m. Times are announced day-of via Facebook. Ten episodes rotate, and the whole process will repeat in July. It's a technique that Massé calls "guerrilla television," although what it means is that the duo's unnamed backers have purchased airtime.

Paid-for or not, Shmitty is airing nationwide during the kind of shows that appeal to its target audience. Massé describes the show as "like if you took South Park and Fat Albert and forced them to have sex with Malcolm in the Middle filming." It focuses on three urban youths who drink, take drugs and discuss such important topics as back zits and Jennifer Aniston's flatulence.

The exuberant Massé sketched the show's three main characters on a piece of tablecloth during an unrelated meeting with a client. What started as a lark to amuse their business associate soon turned into a passion project. Massé and Allen recruited colleagues from the advertising and marketing world, and they produced all 10 episodes with a local team of eight people. Although the airtime on Comedy Central is purchased, the network definitely is aware of the show, and Massé and Allen have had talks with MTV and Adult Swim as well.

Eventually, the hope is to land a full-length series — preferably one that doesn't air in the middle of the night. And from there? "We're going to keep this going as long as we can," Massé says, "until everybody's absolutely sick or absolutely in love with it."

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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