The first ever Comedy Hack Day was a huge success. What was just an idea a few months ago, became an inspiring weekend with over 60 developers and comedians building two dozen hilarious hacks. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Well, we could, but that would be greedy and ungrateful.
Comedy Hack Day was a public test of the thesis behind Cultivated Wit: comedy and technology, when paired together, can create hilarious, engaging products. After this weekend, we think that thesis has been proven. What’s more, we believe that Comedy Hack Day demonstrated that the process of combining comedy and technology is not limited to a select few that deeply understand both fields. We’re confident that with the right guidance, motivation and whiskey, many people can use this formula to build awesome products.
We’d like to congratulate the winning teams.
Grand Prize: Shout Roulette
- About: Welcome to the future of shouting at people you disagree with. ShoutRoulette is the fastest, simplest way to yell at people you think are morons about the things you are right about. Just pick a topic, choose your opinion and in moments you will be matched up with someone who vehemently disagrees with you. Then just start screaming.
- Team: Jeff Escalante, Emin Israfil, Matt Klinman, and Stephen Peek
- Prize: UCB classes for the entire team and the opportunity to demo at NY Tech Meetup
Second Prize: McKayla Is Not Impressed Chrome Extension
- About: McKayla is not impressed by random images as you browse the web. She’ll appear in ~20% of images, and she will not be impressed.
- Team: Nicole Beiber (No relation. Also, going solo? Hell yes)
- Prize: Tickets and backstage access to Nerdist Live in NYC
Best Use of Data: Spacebar to Moneyshot
- About: A LOT of people watch porn, whether or not they admit it. But how do you avoid that awkward moment when you are about to approach your “aha” moment and the video suddenly cuts to an unfortunate scene… Spacebar to Moneyshot is here to help. With whatever appendage is available you can just hit spacebar and go immediately to the perfect “aha” scene. Wonderful. Due to the absence of APIs into pornographic video sites, the team used wildlife sex footage available on YouTube.
- Team: Jarod Reyes and Abe Stanway
- Prize: Tickets to Data Gotham
Our judges decided to make up three more awards while deliberating, here they are:
The Fair and Balanced Award: Fox the News
- About: Finds real news articles, sensationalizes them and replaces words with innuendo using Natural Language Processing. From scratch!
- Team: Matthew Ruttley, Benjamin Ragheb, and Julian Kross
The Best Unnecessary Use of Made-up Technology: Wild Party in the USA
- About: This is a Buck Wild Video Music Party App that engages two participants to dance to the music and while doing so shoot attacks or compliments to the other on their dance move qualities.
- Team: Neil Liang and John Yung
The Chris Gethard Memorial Award: Scat Roulette
- About: Taking photos people have uploaded on Instagram. Will you see scat, will you not… who knows…
- Team: Syd Lawrence
Here’s an award as voted by our online viewers:
The People’s Choice Award: Spacebar to Moneyshot
And the awards from our awesome sponsors:
SendGrid - Best Delivery: Spacebar to Moneyshot
- Prize: Two tickets to see Robin Williams at NY Comedy Festival
10gen - Best Use of a Meme: McKayla Is Not Impressed Chrome Extension
- Prize: Kindle Touch
Twilio - Least Viable Product: PrivilegeGuard
- About: A browser extension that provides an authentic underprivileged experience for white people suffering from “White Guilt.”
- Team: Jason Pearson, Michael Abraham, Abbas Rattani, and another team member that didn’t register so we don’t have her name (email us!)
- Prize: Arduino Kit
TokBox - Best Improv Hack: Shout Roulette
- Prize: Nexus 7
Mashery - Best Eastwooding: Shout Roulette
- Prize: Apple TV
We’d like to thank our fantastic panel of judges: Chris Gethard, Hilary Mason, Anil Dash, and Lizz Winstead. We applaud their high tolerance for poop jokes. Please follow them on Twitter and buy/use every product they make in all media now known or hereafter devised in all markets, worldwide and in perpetuity.
Finally, thanks to our sponsors Twilio, Quotidian Ventures, Mashery, UCB Comedy, SendGrid, TokBox, 10gen, and to the wonderful folks at Pivotal Labs for allowing us to use their space. Thanks to Betaworks for providing Cultivated Wit with a physical and intellectual home, and one last shout-out to Jon Gottfried from Twilio for helping to put this whole thing together! And Matt + Claudina for filming the entire weekend while intentionally delaying pizza deliveries to create drama. Ok, we’re done now.
If you’d like to watch the demos, click right… here. For info on how the teams built their hacks, visit Hacker League.
Stay tuned for more.
This was awesome.
- Cultivated Wit (Baratunde, Craig, Brian)