Comedy Central’s ‘Corporate': pitch-black workplace satire w/ Ty Segall soundtrack
The soul-sucking world of multinationals has long been a source of satire, and makes a particularly bleak and funny backdrop for Comedy Central’s new series, Corporate. Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, who co-created the series, star as Matt and Jake, two Junior Executives in Training at Hampton DeVille, a company whose slogan is “We Make Everything” and is run by ruthless CEO Christian DeVille (Lance Reddick, aka Lt Daniels on The Wire). They face a daily onslaught of humiliations, clueless bosses, red tape, and meaningless corporate-speak. Their only work allies are HR administrator Grace (Butterboy‘s Aparna Nancherla) and the company’s social media guy (Baron Vaughn who is the voice of Crow on the new Mystery Science Theater 3000).
Corporate may not be for everyone — it is almost relentlessly dark and, like Black Mirror, not that far removed from the real world — and makes The Office (or even Office Space) look like TIGF fare. (A surreal streak cuts the sting just a little, and there is a Robocop/Fight Club vibe as well.) If you have the stomach for it, though, it is wickedly funny. You can watch a few clips below.
The series’ buttoned-up atmosphere is juxtaposed by the theme song written just for the show by Ty Segall. who also recorded more songs used in other episodes. Matt and Jake told the No Joke podcast how it came about:
Matt: He’s originally from San Francisco and we have a lot of friends who are comedians in San Francisco — it’s a very small scene where everything is intermixing.
Jake: The whole concept behind it was, if you do get a chance to make a TV show, dream big…our pie-in-the-sky idea was to get Ty Segall to do the theme song, he’s one of our favorite musicians. So we were like, “let’s try” and he was like “hell yeah.” I keep being confused that dreams are achievable. It was not something I thought and I keep getting proved wrong. All you have to do is email someone and be “You’re great,” and they’ll be like “I need money, too.”
There’s music on screen, too. Aimee Mann has a role in the third episode, “The Pain of Being Alive,” as Peg, “the most well-balanced person in the office.” There’s also an episode featuring a Banksy-like artist who creates Protest Fest, headlined by “Kanye West, Rage Against The Machine and LCD Soundsystem who play their final show on Friday and their reunion show on Saturday.”
You can hear Ty’s theme song in the first clip below which kicks in around the 2:22 mark. Watch a few other Corporate clips below and whole episodes over at Comedy Central.