In Awards and Achievements, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Faculty and Staff

A YouTube series created by a BYU Theatre and Media Arts professor and alumnus is receiving recognition in festivals in Utah and throughout the country.

“Pretty Darn Funny,” created by Jeff Parkin and Jared Cardon, is a web series sponsored by Deseret Book. The comedy has led the charge as the first Church-sponsored entry into scripted entertainment that has since yielded shows like “Studio C” and “Granite Flats.”

It recently was nominated for 10 awards at the 3rd Annual Filmed in Utah Awards, where it won three: Best YouTube Channel, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Director.

Parkin, the series’ director, said that he and many other colleagues wanted to create a show that anyone could watch and enjoy.

“We hear from a lot of people that they watch it as a family, which is something that makes us really happy–families watching entertainment together,” Parkin said.

The show recently finished its second season. The first season centers on Gracie Moore, played by Lisa Clark, a mother who forms a comedy troupe with local women to provide a clean venue for families to be entertained. The second season focuses more on Moore’s relationship with her family–ups and downs, and typical confrontations as well as successes.

“I think we and Deseret Book are interested in telling stories about normal people and the fact that we makes mistakes–that it’s normal and it can be funny–instead of getting caught up in perfectionism,” Cardon said.

“Laughing at your mistakes is good, and it’s healthy,” Parkin added.

For the first season, BYU offered students an opportunity to work the series in exchange for university credit, and around 75 TMA students participated. For season two, about 95 percent of the current cast and crew are either BYU alumni or BYU students.

The series has also produced three parody music videos. “Downton Abbey Rap,” “The Hunger Games: Moms vs. Kids!” and “Mom Footloose” have over 341,000 YouTube views combined. Though the series is targeted at an audience of LDS moms, the series gets exceptional engagement with nearly 700,000 views on its channel.

Parkin and Cardon both agree that comedy can be family friendly and still be hilarious.

“Even though the show is made in Utah and is sponsored by an LDS company, we continue to get lots of positive feedback from fans of divers backgrounds and faiths,” Cardon said. “It’s a great representation of who we are at BYU and as members of the Church.”

Watch Pretty Darn Funny for free at

Awards & Nominations (Wins are in Bold)

Filmed in Utah Awards: 10 Nominations, 3 Wins

  • Best Director (Series/Music Video)- Jeff Parkin
  • Best Ensemble Cast- WON
  • Best YouTube Channel- WON
  • Best Series
  • Best Screenplay (Series/Short)
  • Best Actress (Short/Series)
  • Best Editing (Short/Series/Music Video)
  • Best Sound Mix
  • Best Music Score (Short/Series)
  • Best Song

Hollyweb Film Festival 2014

  • Official Selection

Salt Lake Comedy Festival 2014

  • Official Selection

Vancouver Web Festival 2014

  • Official Selection

Toronto Web Festival 2014

  • Official Selection

International Academy of Web Television Awards

  • Best Comedy Series
  • Best Writing (Comedy)
  • Best Female Performance (Comedy)
  • Best Supplemental Content

Indie Series Awards

  • Best Writing (Comedy)
  • Best Lead Actress

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