Griffin Herring conducts video interviews for his series called â€œNews at the Ranch.â€ (photos by John Gregory)
Student creates comedy improv news show
He is not a griffin, the half eagle-half lion beast of mythological lore. Nor is he a herring, the silvery fish, pickled or otherwise. But his name happens to be Griffin Herring and he’s the type of guy who would appreciate an introduction like this.
Griffin Herring will be a sophomore (a rising sophomore, as he put it) at Scripps Ranch High School when classes begin in late August, and he clearly has a passion for both video and comedy. Combine these elements and you have the ingredients for an ambitious young man who hopes to be a rising star.
Griffin has the looks of an anchorman, and once you meet him you kind of hope he’ll deliver a flawless punch line, a wise-crack or a zinger. You want to pull for him to be a success.
Last Saturday morning he was found conducting video interviews with the help of his father, George Herring, at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market. He was not being paid and wasn’t working on a class project. No, Griffin has the initiative and drive to interview complete strangers for his project called “News at the Ranch.” Although the project has its roots in the high school video class taught by video production teacher Gregory Wilson, Griffin is simply producing this series of videos because, well, he’s Griffin Herring. This is what he does.
“I’m doing a comedy news show … and here we’re just doing a fun man on the street bit about the farmer’s market, going to different vendors working at the booths,” he explained. “I’ve been doing standup comedy and improv, so I write a loose script that has opportunity for good bits, and then I just kind of improvise the rest.”
For instance, when he discovered that a penguin is the mascot for the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market, he feigned exasperation. “It’s like 90 degrees!” he exclaimed.
He intended to slip a quip about the mascot into his questions for the day as he interviewed vendors, ignoring the fact that the market’s mascot is clearly stuffed, not a live penguin.
Griffin described some of the topics for other videos in his series.
“I did all the events in the month of May … It’s basically making fun of all the weird events,” he said. “(For instance) They had an accordion class, and accordions are really cool, but they are just like, ‘Bring your accordion.’ Do YOU have an accordion?
“We’re going to be asking college graduates about weird experiences they had during freshman year, and doing parodies on (Scripps Ranch High).”
Each show is intended to send a subtle, positive message. He said the college video was intended to promote kids going to college.
“It’s all for bigger goals. Like this (farmer’s market video) is to promote healthy eating, the other one was to promote going to local events. But it’s basically a front for comedy.” Griffin said.
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