The Professor of Dirt – Episode 442

I want to give you all a little insight into the sketch: The Professor of Dirt Episode 442.

These sketches had their beginnings in 2006 when I lived in Fort Worth. I had been working on my backyard (which was mostly dirt) when I had the idea of a funny bit of video where the ‘professor’ would tout his lawn, then we see how dead it was and he would just give up on the whole thing and walk off. My wife had a graduation gown and I always wanted to do something with it (sketch-wise) so with that, some gel in my hair and some glasses with no lenses The Professor of Dirt was born.
I shot that short bit of video in the back yard in Fort Worth but I never expanded the idea to a full sketch so the video lay in silence on my hard drive.
Fast forward to 2007. We moved out to the country and once again I wanted to do this sketch about an over-zealous gardening wanna-be. Johann Simon-Smithe was created and in less than 30 minutes the first sketch was in the bag. I had my wife shoot the actual video while I capered about the yard acting like an effeminate pansy.
Basically Johann thinks he is some super great garden guru but everything he does turns out to be crap. In this episode he talks to a sickly plant and accidental feeds it acid. Then he talks some rubbish about pet rocks. At the point in the sketch where I threw the rock we shot another bit of video with the rock tied to a string and me moving it back and forth in front of the camera to give it a ‘flying’ effect. In the next shot my wife swings the rock to make it appear to hit me and roll down the hill as the narrator closes the show (which is just me talking a little more softly). The music and bird sounds were created from my Yamaha keyboard.
The only other bit to mention is the picture of the shy Gerraro (who is supposedly running the camera). I simply inserted this character so I could use a silly picture of my boss. The cheesy image always gets laughs so I decided to include Gerraro in each episode as a somewhat mystery character (ala Maris on Frazier).
Overall I am very pleased with this The Professor of Dirt sketch. It was the first sketch to be shot with the Canon XL2 and it looks fantastic.

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