Yelp is great for a lot of things, like discovering a new falafel joint, or detailing the full itinerary of your night at Honeycut, or creating an account for the sole purpose of bashing now-closed Pasadena restaurant Margarita Jones for charging you $4 for a “Double Extra Margarita” when you expressly ordered a $2 regular margarita (not bitter at all). It’s also a prime outlet for shot-form absurdist comedy.
A few months back, actor/director duo Joe Cobden and Dave Green discovered that Yelp allows users to upload 12-second videos to restaurant pages. Naturally, the two began to use (and mainly abuse) the format to create surrealist tributes to their favorite L.A. restaurants. The weirdly high-production value videos involve stunt doubles, ambitious green-screening, archival footage, puppets, and at least one chicken suit. Their entire filmography is accessible via Instagram—with five of the most baffling installments below.
I. In which a man flees from a Howlin’ Ray’s chicken sandwich that is proportional in scale to the intensity of its flavor
II. In which a detective narrates a seedy and extremely brief noir set in Musso and Frank
III. In which Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are a pair of hyper-masculine puppets
IV. In which a man consumes a bowl of Boiled Fish with Green Pepper Sauce at Chengdu Taste and literally bursts into flames
V. In which that Heat scene at Kate Mantilini (RIP) with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino is embellished with—well, let’s just say the sound of Pacino poking his finger into a moist pastrami sandwich will haunt you for the rest of your life
You’re hooked now. You know you are. And these five videos are only the beginning…
Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote 14 Instagram Accounts That Capture the Beauty of Los Angeles