Why you should care
Because underestimating anyone could end up being the spirit of comedy.
In this occasional series, OZY takes to streets and neighborhoods across the globe to ask a simple question: “How was your day?”
Alfred “AC” Charles
We get hundreds of trending videos a day, mostly through direct messages from people who are following us on CrimeFaces and who have basically become our scouting base for videos. We get tagged on all kinds of different social media platforms, from Instagram to Twitter to Facebook to YouTube. Every morning we go through a bunch of videos and select the best ones to work on. Then we upload them and the commentary starts flowing. None of the material is prewritten. All of it is off the top of my head.
When the big-name recognition started coming, it came organically. Bill Burr is a comedic genius, and when he talked about us on his podcast and talked about how CrimeFaces’ comedy is intellectual and layered, it was validation that we were onto something and it snowballed from there.
I can’t tell you how many people tell us they don’t actually like fighting vids, but after following CrimeFaces …
We’re focused on putting out the best thoughtful and creative product, not the typical social media behavior of chasing celebrities to get hits. But yeah, Joe Budden found us and talked about us on his podcast as well. Then Criss Angel the magician, rapper Cam’ron, WWE wrestler CM Punk. We realized we were reaching multiple demographics.
This is just since May 2019. You know, I’m 40 years old and grew up in the ’80s and the ’90s in New York City. I’ve been in the trucking business for years, but I’m also a big true-crime reader and documentary watcher, so it was the first interest that came to mind. As I originally did the page, journalistically, though, it became boring. I felt I could do more, so I decided to experiment and switched it up. The very first video with the new formula got a huge response.
It was more just to introduce myself and also to learn the different platforms, starting with Instagram. I always knew we had the creativity to make good content, so strategically we’d start revealing more little by little, but this momentum was definitely not expected. It taught me to just be yourself and let it fly; do whatever you want, but be you and the people respond.
It all started with street, bar, pool, wherever fight videos. It seemed that everything other people were putting out was redundant and exhausting. We felt it needed a new angle, one that’s never been done before. Being that fighting videos were more of a serious nature, by putting a comedic spin on it we felt we could make it innovative and fun.
We do that mostly by implementing a vast vocabulary and giving a descriptive analysis of human behavior and reactions that are extremely relatable in everyday life. There’s a lot of goofy and silly content out there, but if you really absorb CrimeFaces you can see that every video is a real-life lesson in disguise and delivered in comedic form.
I have a serious side, of course, but growing up in New York and in the diverse circles I ran in, I have insight many others don’t. Which definitely translates into my work and makes me relatable without putting in such an effort to be so. It’s all natural.
There’s backlash from putting out the content we do, sure, but I can’t tell you how many people tell us they don’t actually like fighting vids, but after following CrimeFaces they realize the content is positive and good-hearted. At first, if you’re judging a book by its cover, it may seem like we glorify that behavior, but that’s not our intention.
Unfortunately, Instagram’s algorithms are robotic and just see what the video looks like and can’t appreciate the substance. We understand Instagram has rules to abide by, so we’re building an independent site for our loyalists to get their dose of CrimeFaces.
The misconception is that CrimeFaces is a channel based on voice-overs only. We do a lot more than just commentary. We have a film production team that’s working on a few documentaries and films. We have fashion designers working on our new product lines; we are heavily involved with the art world and we have a bunch of MMA and boxing collaborations happening.
Which is why me and my business partner, Vin Major, are on the phone more than 30 times a day going over daily reports, data and analytics, and scheduling meetings on upcoming projects. All so we can scale CrimeFaces.
Ultimately, I think my brand of comedy unites people because we all like to laugh and everyone is included. There are no limits but also no disrespect. People reach out and tell us we help them through hard days, and that motivates us to continue our mission even if it’s all in fun for us.
We even laugh at ourselves. It’s healthy and intelligent and it’s comedy.