Carter Feuerhelm and Daniel Moya met on the Cinema Floor in New/North during their first semester of freshman year. The two film and television production majors lived across the hall from each other and quickly formed a comedy video group with several other film students, but the two always had their own special rapport.
“We say a lot of nonsense words,” Feuerhelm said. “The word ‘yipsie’ came to me. And then Carter followed it up …” Moya said. “Bipsie,” finished Carter, in true best friend form.
“It was just like that,” Moya added. “So then we started to apply it to things. This is a yipsie, this is a bipsie.”
Feuerhelm agreed. “We loved the idea of applying it to anything. But especially movies.”
The two realized that they had to start putting these “yips” and “bips” somewhere, and thus they created a Twitter account devoted to the two characters.
It wasn’t until this year that the two finally found the proper venue to debut their characters. At the beginning of last semester, Feuerhelm and fellow School of Cinematic Arts student Rick Cisario launched The Breakdown — a news parody show broadcast live on Trojan Vision every Friday. The Breakdown provided the perfect platform to allow the yipsie and bipsie characters to come alive.
Feuerhelm said that the two bounce ideas off each other to create material for the show.
“Usually the night before we’ll sit down together at a Google Doc, and we’ll just write and pitch ideas to each other, back and forth. And do whatever it takes to make each other laugh,” Feuerhelm said.
The entire process takes about three hours, and the following morning they rehearse “a million times” before going live on air.
“Sometimes the teleprompter is too slow or too fast. Sometimes we cut each other off. We try to keep it spontaneous,” Moya said.
The humor that this pair exhibits has a unique flavor to it. For example, when asked about the recently released film Nightcrawler, Moya said, “I liked it. You wouldn’t know that from the tweet.” This is basically captures yipsie and bipsie’s entire methodology.
“The reviews have nothing to do with the film. The whole thing is really a sketch comedy bit,” Moya said. “It almost sounds like we’re three universes deeper. We’re operating on a whole different plane of existence.”
“Nobody’s watching movies the way we’re watching these movies,” Feuerhelm said.
Despite the fact that both Feuerhelm and Moya have found themselves working on several comedy projects together, Moya doesn’t think he will pursue a career in comedy. In fact, Moya admits to having no comedy experience before coming to USC.
“Most of the stuff I make is very dark. Morbidly dark. I like dark stories,” Moya said. “You definitely can apply that same darkness to comedy, which is good because I don’t feel bad about making something like that because then I can just go to yipsie or bipsie later,” Moya said.
Feuerhelm is the opposite. In addition to envisioning a future in the genre, Feuerhelm already has a handle on his style.
“I feel like my comedy brand is so silly. It’s not really based in reality,” Feuerhelm said. “I think my humor tends to verge on the dark or the nonsensical,” he said.
Nonetheless, the two believe they work best together.
“We find ways to integrate all of our sensibilities.” Moya said.
The two have also found a way to integrate Moya’s vast collection of black clothing into their yipsie and bipsie characters.
“He wears black; I wear white.” Feuerhelm said.
The two feel like their characters could have a future beyond USC.
“It could easily be a web series. Or a podcast.” Feuerhelm said. “But almost without a doubt, we will expand it into other formats.”
At one point during the interview, after mentioning a movie off hand, Moya said, “Oh, I liked that movie.” A fraction of a second later, he added, “Yipsie.”
Feuerhelm nodded his head. “I agree. Bipsie!”
Whether either of them had actually seen the film they review may never truly be known. At least not as long as yipsie and bipsie are around.
You can catch Yipsie and Bipsie every other Friday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Trojan Vision. You can also follow them on Twitter for daily reviews @YiporBip.