Combining news and current events into a comedic medium is not a new concept, but Andrew Rosas hopes to bring the University’s accomplishments into a new light.
Rosas recently took over Texas Exes’ “The Hook,” a weekly online news segment that reports University current events, combining interviews with comedic commentary similar to popular late-night comedy news shows such as “The Colbert Report.” Although “The Hook”’s primary audience is comprised of alumni, Rosas hopes his new take on the web series’ newscasting will expand his audience.
“It’s a new direction for the show,” Rosas said. “Something more comedy-based to reach a little bit broader audience.”
Through a mix of inserted movie clips and witty commentary, Rosas said he hopes to make learning about current University events entertaining. The web series covers UT discoveries and projects such as the finding of a natural flame retardant and the Intelligence Studies Project, which studies declassified presidential briefs. Recently, the series covered the development of robotic evolution.
While the show predominately features science and engineering topics, Rosas said he hopes to delve into other disciplines, such as liberal arts and humanities.
“I want people to be, like, ‘I want to watch this every week because it’s actually funny, and I’ll learn something along the way,’” Rosas said.
The series is available every week on the Texas Exes’ website. He said the series’ intention is to connect people through comedy, an objective he strives for outside “The Hook,” as well.
Since 2012, Rosas has spent the majority of his years performing with the Master Pancake comedy cast, acting in skits and inserting witty dialogue into movies at the Alamo Drafthouse as well as putting on stand-up comedy shows.
“Writing jokes for Master Pancake is, in a lot of ways, very different than writing jokes for ‘The Hook,’” Rosas said.
Rosas said “The Hook” differs from Master Pancake in that its jokes have to remain objective and lack the energy of a live set.
“Master Pancake is observational, but with ‘The Hook,’ the joke is on me because I’m talking to the screen, and the jokes have to be more self-contained,” Rosas said. “It’s the same body but different muscles.”
UT alumnus Jordon Wahl said he thinks watching the videos allows him to stay informed on the University’s work after he graduated.
“As a recent graduate, I enjoy it because it keeps me in touch with my University,” Wahl said. “It gives me more insight about what makes UT great.”
Texas Exes members who subscribe to their mailing list receive a link for new videos with a humorous description every time a new video is released. Wahl said he has watched every one so far and is interested to see what they will report on next.
Business Honors senior Allie Kubis said her boyfriend showed the videos to her from his email and believes they have relatable messages students can enjoy. She said she believes that the interviews allow students to recognize important staff and professors around campus.
“I liked them,” Kubis said. “The set-up reminds me of other comedy news shows like ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Last Week Tonight.’ I think these videos should be spread more to the student body.”