Underground sensations Jake and Amir have amassed a loyal following thanks to their weekly video episodes and their new podcast. But how well did the two Americans translate their online show to a live London audience?

Jake and Amir

Jake and Amir

When American web comedians and collegehumor.com alumni Jake and Amir (aka Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld) first announced back in March that they would be appearing at the Soho Theatre, tickets sold fast and with good reason. Their regular online hijinks have built up a loyal following not just in the States but also here in the UK. For some purists, they may not fit comfortably into the cabaret mould: yes, they are stand up comedians but they are also multi-format, interactive, performers. Jake and Amir have been putting an episode up every week for several years and have amassed an average of half a million views for each one. They write and direct the episodes of themselves and take their characters on surreal, hilarious and eminently quotable journeys. They have also just moved in to the free podcast arena and are hitting the top of the charts for If I Were You, a show where they give advice to people who email in.

The night opens with a fan-made musical version of the episode Milkman which also stars Ben Schwartz, an in-joke for all of the fans as we know the original video. Jake and Amir emerge on stage to bombard the audience with their quick back and forth style, whipping the crowd into waves of bigger and bigger laughs; at one point, Jake broke down laughing himself. Although around 95% of the show is scripted, it feels like less. I enjoy the spontaneity of their performances and especially enjoy their interactions with the crowd.

Jake and Amir are joined for their London shows by Streeter Seidell, comedian and executive editor of collegehumor.com. He acts as the meat in this show’s sandwich with a fifteen minute solo routine. His style is that of a classic stand up and watching him is both extremely enjoyable in its right and as a contrast to his colleagues’ style. Streeter’s performance further reinforces Jake and Amir’s ambiguous categorisation; they aren’t just stand ups, just actors or story tellers, they are an amalgamation of all three. The pair revel in all formats and, although the audience is almost exclusively comprised of men under the age of twenty-one, as a woman older than that who thoroughly enjoys their unbalanced relationship and their sometimes crude “skits and bits”.

Although undoubtably a tasty treat, at the end there is a feeling that Jake and Amir only gave us a taster of their act. There’s an entertaining audience interaction game in the third part of the show revolving around American foodbut it is over too quickly and the denouement feels too sudden.

After the show all three greet all of their fans and have pictures taken with them, a kind gesture to their fans on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. There are no plans for them to return so, for the faithful, it is back to the podcasts and videos for their regular dose of Jake & Amir.

Jake and Amir. Performed by Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld. Soho Theatre, London, W1D 3NE. jakeandamir.com