Two Grand Rapids women have come together to create a comedic duo thriving off not stand-up or skits, but the power of the internet.
With a show primarily hosted on Facebook, local standup comics Kaira Williams and Megan Elaine have gathered a sort of cult following. The show varies each time in length and content, but it always promises banter between the two personalities.
“We have a chemistry,” Williams said. “People just kept telling us, ‘Oh my god, I could just watch you guys talk to each other forever,’ and we were like ‘Hmm, we should do something.’ Originally we were going to call it ‘The Generation Gap,’ because there’s a decade between us.”
So in December of last year, Williams, 32, and Elaine, 22, uploaded their first video. At that point, they still hadn’t decided on a name, so they just turned the camera on and started spitting out ideas until they decided on one: Inaccurate & Inappropriate (or I&I).
“Because she’s the one who’s inappropriate mostly, and I’m very inaccurate with everything that I say,” Elaine said.
Topics on the show vary widely, from games that Elaine likes to play to just talking about what’s going on in their lives. Both women in their own stand-up use self-deprecating humor, and viewers can see that seep into the show.
“We just talk about whatever,” Williams said. “Sometimes we have no clue and just sit in front of the camera and start talking to each other.”
The two met through Funny Girls, an all-female comedy collective in Grand Rapids. Their show gained some momentum a few months ago when they snagged a surprise live interview with Donnie Wahlberg, one of the members of boy band New Kids On The Block, of which Williams is a big fan.
For those who didn’t see the locally viral video, Williams and Elaine were outside a concert venue for the band, and as Wahlberg happened to be walking in, Elaine stopped him and starting asking questions. The video garnered more than 165,000 views. After that, they saw an increase in followers just in their own Facebook circles, as well as a surge of NKOTB fans.
“We have super fans, and they are people we don’t know in real life,” Williams said. “They are New Kids on the Block fans, who are now super fans of I&I who just think we’re very funny. I love that, it’s amazing.”
However, Elaine said she did make some changes once they saw an increase in viewers.
“My biggest thing now is I’ve always been so open in all of our videos,” Elaine said. “(Now), people I don’t know watch these too. So now I try to take that into account when I talk about things online. That is the biggest change, I think.”
To the duo’s satisfaction, fans have started to approach them in public.
“I was at Dave and Busters and a bartender said, ‘I don’t want to be weird, but I watch Inn and Inn.’” Williams said. “I’m like, ‘That’s not weird, tell me that all day.’”
Williams and Elaine work on having new videos up each Friday for the show, but it really depends on the week, they said, because they both work full-time jobs.
“The way we make our money obviously has to come first because we have to pay rent and then Funny Girls and Inaccurate & Inappropriate,” Elaine said.
But if they miss a Friday upload, viewers can expect a funny Facebook post or short video in the meantime. The pair recently had their first live show at Creston Brewery, and they were surprised at how well it went.
“I said right before we started the show, ‘This show is only going to be as good as the audience that comes out,’ and the audience that came out to that show was everything that I could ever dream of,” Elaine said. “I felt like crying that night.”
The show was an hour long, with Williams and Elaine bantering back and forth for a while, and then they each did their own stand-up.
“It was nice to see other people at our show and how much — I think in the past like year or two — how much the comedy community in Grand Rapids has just packed in toward each other and really been supporting every aspect of it, which is something I never saw two years ago,” Elaine said. “I was about to move away to go to Chicago two years ago because of that, and now I’m like, ‘This is insane.’”
Because of that support, Williams and Elaine make an effort to support other local comedians in turn.
“As female comedians in Grand Rapids, as people that are part of the all-female comedy collective, and as people that are a part of Inaccurate & Inappropriate collectively, we plan to go to shows for local artists all the time,” Elaine said. “It’s important for us to support other people.”
“If we don’t show up, then why (would) we expect people to show up to ours?” Williams said.
For the future of I&I, both Williams and Elaine agreed they just want to give the viewers what they want.
“I just hope it can lead to us doing more of what we love, and what we love is making people laugh, making people feel comfortable with their own skin, making sure that people know they’re not the only ones that think this certain way, because I think that we say a lot of things that people don’t say,” Elaine said.