‘Chad and JT Go Deep’: Pranksters achieve moments of hilarity playing idiot activists in California
The bits are sometimes juvenile, sometimes amusing in fake Netflix documentary series.
The comedy duo of Tom Allen and John Parr have made a nice niche splash with their Borat meets Bill & Ted act, playing the surfer bro characters known as “Chad and JT,” who often show up at city council meetings in Southern California, advocating for such causes as declaring “a second Independence Day, on the second of July, the day the movie ‘Independence Day’ with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum came out …”
Hey. We’ve heard worse proposals at certain city council meetings in recent years, my fellow Americans.
Now these podcasting viral comedians have their own Netflix series, “Chad and JT Go Deep,” which begins with the title card, “Chad and JT are activists from Southern California. They have allowed a camera team behind the scenes to document their work,” but is about as much of a documentary as “This Is Spinal Tap.” Over the course of a half-dozen breezy episodes, Chad and JT engage in a series of goofy stunts while the narrative follows a paper-thin storyline involving the lads getting canceled over a misunderstanding about the difference between “boarders” as in surf boarders and “borders” as in open borders, and becoming estranged over Chad’s unwillingness to “shave his dome” for a cause, but mostly it’s just an excuse for these guys to flesh out their endearingly dopey characters.
A six-episode series available Tuesday on Netflix.
In one of my favorite bits, the boys conduct a Hollywood sightseeing bus tour — consisting solely of locations from their beloved “Fast and Furious” franchise. Chad points out “Bob’s Food Market, or you guys probably know it better as Toretto’s Market … where Brian O’Connor and Mia meet,” and JT chimes in, “He keeps ordering tuna sandwiches with the crust cut off, which is a cute little detail.”
“Is this ALL ‘Fast and Furious’?” asks an incredulous tourist.
In a subsequent episode, Chad and JT are down in the dumps about being canceled when they cross paths with actress Jordana Brewster, but of course they actually think she’s Mia Toretto from the “FF” franchise. They’ve got Coronas and she’s got a Corona, in a nod to one of the most blatant product placement deals in movie history.
We’re also treated to Chad and JT’s trademark public advocacy work, as when they go in front of the Los Angeles City Council and Chad wonders, “Why is it that only people like P. Diddy, Jeff Bezos and my Uncle Ron get to experience the euphoria of being on a yacht? I think I have the solution. We need public yachts.” (In nearly every case, the council members, perhaps numbed by endless hours in deadly dull meetings, always let Chad and JT have the floor and are slow to realize they’re being pranked.)
Some of the gags are juvenile, e.g., the guys lead a movement to end “Small D--- Shame” for men who aren’t well-endowed, but even then, the boys show an admirable dedication to the gag. (When Chad discovers he’s not really so small and is in fact average, he laments to a fast-food drive-through cashier, “I just found out I’m medium,” and she replies, “You just found out you’re Armenian?”) And there are moments of hilarious idiotic bliss, as when Chad volunteers to teach reading to a group of adorable children and has them do a table read from, you guessed it, “ ‘The Fast and the Furious,’ directed by Rob Cohen.”
Seeing these kids read the cheesy dialogue with a full commitment to the material is more entertaining than most of the actual FF movies.