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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Interview: Elena Crevello and Heidi Niedermeyer, Creators of 'Shit People in L.A. Say'

Photo courtesy of Elena Crevello and Heidi Niedermeyer
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Last week, we posted a couple of videos that documented shit L.A. people say. One of those videos, by Elena Crevello and Heidi Niedermeyer, touched on some characteristics we (perhaps a little cringing-ly) recognized in ourselves: the urge to speak to dogs as if they are human children, the refusal to go west of Vermont, and the propensity to curse at other people from the safety of one's own vehicle.

The video also caught the attention of KCRW, and Crevello and Niedermeyer agreed to help the popular talk radio station with a pledge drive by envisioning a world without KCRW.

The two ladies who now represent both the funny and the damning verbal tics of our fair city have since started a YouTube channel called The Trashy Class, where they plan to keep posting comedy sketches. We caught up with them via email to find out about how they met, how they came up with the video, and what makes L.A. such a fun place to (light-heartedly!) mock.

LAist: How did you two meet?
Heidi Niedermeyer and Elena Crevello: We met in high school at a summer theater camp, The National High School Institute at Northwestern University, which is also known as "Cherubs"...not because we took advantage of the all-you-can-eat meal plan and each gained ten pounds (whoops) -- that's just the nickname of the program.

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LAist: Are you from L.A. originally? Where do you live now?
HN and EC: Heidi is a fifth generation Angeleno -- her great-grandparents grew up in what is now Chinatown, and she grew up in Pasadena. Elena's family is from East L.A., near Downey, and she was raised in Santa Cruz.

We both went to New York City for college to study theater -- Heidi went to Fordham University and Elena was in NYU's Tisch program. We took advantage of New York by doing off (off) broadway theater and immersing ourselves in the comedy scene through improv and online sketches.

Heidi now lives in Silver Lake and Elena lives in West Hollywood. We fight over which side is better.

LAist: How did you get the idea to do "Shit L.A. People Say"?
HN and EC: We'd been wanting to do a sketch together for a while, and after seeing the "Shit New Yorkers Say" video (which we loved) we realized that there was no Los Angeles version, so we started texting various quotes that people say in L.A. to each other until we had six pages of material.

LAist: Did you come up with any things that L.A. people say that didn't make it into the video?
HN and EC: Not all of it made it in, but we had enough for at least two more videos. We left out a few good ones that touched on Mexican food, food trucks, texting while driving, getting somewhere in 20 minutes, non-committal commitments, flaking...the list goes on!

LAist: What has the response to the video been like?
HN and EC: When we made the video, we said "lets get a million views!", but I don't think either of us really processed how many people that is, or thought that we would actually get a million views in three days. It's been really exciting to have such a positive response to it, and we just hope we can continue to make material that people think is funny and relatable.

We've also gotten a kick out of all of our YouTube comments -- I love the comments from people who live in Louisiana that say "I live in LA and don't say any of that." I think they missed the memo that we are talking about Los Angeles... Also, Elena is Mexican-American, so it's amusing to us when people get upset that there are "no Mexicans in the video."

LAist: "Shit L.A. People Say" was a popular theme. What do you think makes L.A. such a good subject?
HN and EC: The meme has become popular because people can relate to it. Like any city, Los Angeles has very specific cultural references (we're using the term cultural broadly here), and we think people enjoyed seeing their town made fun of a bit. It was a very spot-on, yet also very tongue-in-cheek take on the city.

LAist: How did you get involved with KCRW?
HN and EC: KCRW contacted us after seeing the video because we gave a shout out to "Morning Becomes Eclectic" host Jason Bentley in the sketch, and they just asked if we would help them out with promoting their [pledge] drive. We both really love KCRW and listen to it and support it, so were stoked that they reached out to us, and the feedback from that sketch -- "The Ghost of KCRW" -- has been great too!

You can follow Elena and Heidi on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.