Straddling the line between cringe-worthy and classic, dad jokes hold a special place in just about everyone’s heart.
But no one loves dad jokes more than New York City comedians Sam Reece and Mark Vigeant. They love dad jokes so much that they’ve turned them into an art form, and now they want to bring their art to your coffee table.
In fact, if their Kickstarter for Leaves of Grass I Trimmed With My Mower, “a collection of poems written by Dads for you and your family,” raises one million dollars, they’ll mail you the coffee table, too.
If the one-million-dollar mark seems like an unlikely stretch goal for a book printing project, Reece wants you to know that these comedians are serious.
“I am very serious about the stretch goal,” she told the Daily Dot. “It makes Mark very nervous because… if we make it what a stressful thing we’ll have to go through [to ship the coffee tables] to all those people.”
“I’m already panicking because I’m pretty sure we will reach our goal,” confirmed Vigeant.
The campaign reached its modest initial fundraising goal of slightly less than a thousand dollars within hours of launching, and its numbers have continued to climb. The project had more than 100 backers and had more than quadrupled its initial goal at press time.
That’s not exactly a cool million, but if the trend continues, who knows how much work these two jokesters might have ahead of them?
The project began when Vigeant created a character for a friend’s live show, “Literati,” a comedy program where performers read from fictitious literary works.
“I don’t know where it came from,” said Vigeant. “I’m the youngest of five and an Eagle Scout, so [growing up] I just had to deal with so many dads all the time.”
“I just started writing a poem about being in the backyard at a barbeque holding meat, staring at my wife. I…had so much fun writing it and then I wrote like ten of them.”
The character became a regular at the show, and Reece—who writes and performs with Vigeant as part of the sketch comedy group OSFUG—partnered up with Vigeant to flesh out new characters and more poems.
Reece already had a slew of dad characters in her repertoire, and she enthusiastically shares Vigeant’s fondness for dad humor.
“It’s just a very earnest and simple [kind of humor],” she said. “Dad jokes are very close to my heart. My humor could be described as ‘young dad’ humor.”
While the content and tropes were familiar, the duo were eager to explore a new kind of comedic project.
“You see so many Kickstarters for webseries,” said Reece. “[And we saw] an opportunity to do a comedic project that wasn’t a webseries. We’re really excited about making a book full of these poems.”
The two have put an almost paternal level of thought into the campaign, with rewards—like a spring barbeque—that tug at your dad heart-strings and stretch goals that reward donors by making the book increasingly better. And, of course, they’ve been rewarding backers with updates littered with dad humor.
Reece and Vigeant will also host a mid-campaign fundraiser in New York City this week featuring the two of them in character as Ralph and Zeke reciting their poems. There will also be telethon-style fundraising antics.
“The story of the characters is that they all live on the same street in Stratford, Connecticut and they have a poem club,” said Reece. “They all get together and read poems to each other.”
“It’s this collection of dads who’ve just had a really good year,” added Vigeant.
Here’s hoping they have a truly great year—one that culminates in shipping a ridiculous number of coffee tables.
Screengrab via Mark Vigeant/Kickstarter