Written by Tan Jit Jenn
Pictures by MINISTRY OF FUNNY
Have you ever experienced walking on the streets and spotting someone messing around with other people? You might want to avoid the unnecessary attention by walking somewhere else or be captured on video by these funny guys.
Meet Singapore’s own version of popular Internet pranksters Vitaly and Roman Atwood in the form of Haresh and Terence, the brains behind Ministry of Funny – an online media company that produces videos on pranks and social experiments. Some of their most popular content includes picking up girls in elite-school uniforms, acting like a k-pop star on the streets and holiday prank videos.
Terrence (Left) and Haresh (Right) both co-founders of successful local YouTube Channel specialising in Pranks, Ministry of Funny
Ministry Of Funny started in 2011 when Terence and Haresh met in school at the University of Pennsylvania where they both bonded over their love for making funny videos. Terence was studying Finance and Psychology while Haresh was studying Mechanical Engineering. Although they both had jobs relating to what they have studied after being back in Singapore, they went on to pursue their bigger passion of producing funny videos. They went full time with Ministry Of Funny in 2014.
On Choosing YouTube
A large video sharing company like YouTube is accessible, free and has a huge audience. That is exactly why Ministry Of Funny decided it would be the natural choice for riding on the YouTube bandwagon. With over 50,000 subscribers to date and 4.5 million views in 5 years, Ministry Of Funny are among the trailblazers of the local YouTube scene today, alongside Night Owl Cinematics and TreePotatoes. Some of their inspirations come from vlogger, Casey Neistat and Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. “We feel that these YouTubers are inspirational, authentic, real and relatable. That’s what we want to portray in our videos as well,” said Terence.
The Good and The Bad
Prankers all over the world will definitely be bound to get into some kind of trouble – Ministry Of Funny is no exception. There were a few times when Haresh and Terence had to run away from security guards for their pranks. “Our better moments in Ministry Of Funny would be captured on video when we do our pranks, with the public giving us the reaction we wanted,” said Haresh. “Having an entertainment channel may seem to be a relaxing job and all play, but sometimes the going gets tough when generating ideas. We all sit and talk and discuss on content to make for our videos, sometimes we might face a creative block but we’ll always find a way to work through it. Some problems are finding locations and budget,” said Terence. “As a four-man team, every one of us plays a role in generating ideas because there are only us.”
Knowing The Audience
Content is King. Getting the right content is essential for viewers to relate to their videos, and Ministry Of Funny understood that concept. Ministry Of Funny’s content has always been relevant; focusing on topics like stereotypes and bigger issues that Singaporeans might face. “We don’t necessary focus on the current affairs because these things might die down after a while. We still want our videos to be relevant to our audiences no matter how old the video is”. Both also mentioned that there will be new and exciting content lined up for the year, such as meet and greets and more prank videos! Their advice to give for aspiring YouTube content creators – “Just get an idea, a camera and go out there to shoot,” said Terence, on realising the power of YouTube. Anyone can share their content online easily in this current day and age. With the power of the internet, it has created huge markets in the online world and making videos makes a huge part of it.
So why not start creating your own YouTube channel to share your ideas and creativity? You might very well be the next online sensation!