Chitchat with Kees’s Sohayb and Faris Godus.
Kees the YouTube Show has not only proved that Saudi’s got talent, but it is also evident that our daily encounters have a rich potential in creating a comedy show that tackles our social issues, cracks us up, entertains us and attracts more than 1 million YouTube views per episode.
Q: Is your educational background related to media, and how did you start?
S: We have always had a strong passion for making comedy videos for fun. We produced “The Undefeatable” back in 2010 on YouTube under “Alkhatereen,” our former nickname.
F: We did not study media or cinema, but our talent and love for the domain was our motive to observe, try, discover, learn, and produce more shows. Sohayb was in advertising and I studied IT, but we decided to take a leap of faith and started freelancing.
Q: Did you have a clear vision of your career as famous YouTube entertainers when you started working on these YouTube videos?
S: Things took a serious turn when we finished the pilot of “Mawta Yamshoun Baynana.” This pilot allowed us to join Telfaz11 and become members of the most prominent YouTube online entertainers team.
Q: How did you start working on Kees?
F: Our colleague at Telfaz, Moayad Al Nofaie, originally created “Kees.” I joined as a director and Sohayb a producer. We started writing the script along with acting. I became the main director and Sohayb is the head of content and an actor on the show.
Q: Where did the name Kees come from?
S: “Kees,” meaning disposable bag, came from our Jeddahwi slang “is this real? Or is it from your Kees?” Each sketch puts our social beliefs/traditions to the test of logic. We question if our social norms are out of conviction, or if we’re just following without questioning the reality of it.
Q: How do you work on each episode?
S: Our writing team includes Hisham Faqeeh, Ibrahim Al Khairallah and Ibrahim Mississippi. One of the most important players in the team is Nawaf Al Shobaily.
F: Each member contributes valuably in brainstorming. First there was more space for character improvisation, now we have learnt how to develop the script more efficiently.
Q: Why do you insist on having the brainstorming session at the beginning and the middle of the episode?
S: The brainstorming scenes are the main format of Kees; it gives the show its identity.
F: We use it as a safeguard to the controversial topics that we tackle. We overcome viewers’ radical opponent criticism by discussing it in the brainstorming. We are insane in the sketches, but reasonable in the brainstorming.
Q: While you base your show on controversial issues, what are the red tape boundaries you face?
F: We discuss social taboos openly, but when it comes to ethics and morals, we strongly stick by them. Being bold is a positive matter, but the creative team has to use it to convey a message, not to be reckless with it. We are comedians with a message.
Q: Why is the female participation on the show limited?
S: We welcome female participation in Kees. However, the script and plot determines the participants.
F: Only 3 percent of our casting call applicants are females. So we are looking forward to seeing more creative women who express themselves through art.
Q: Haven’t you thought about developing these sketches into short movies and participating in film festivals?
F: We are now more focused on investing in YouTube. The more things we try, the more our experience is refined. Then we will be ready for the next step.
Q: What about you as head of content/actors/directors?
S: We hope to produce a feature long film with Telfaz. Our ambition goes beyond YouTube; I see myself more as a scriptwriter and an actor in the future.
F: I want to continue being a director; acting and writing helps me become a better director.
We would like to thank our fans for their continuous support. We aim to produce more entertainment and draw more smiles on their faces.Sohayb and Faris Godus