Natalie Tran, the feral YouTube comic who I wrote about in February, has raised her profile in an unexpected way. At the time she said she did not want to handle product endorsements on her posts and I applauded her for her fortitude and foresight. Now she has done a deal with The Sydney Morning Herald, one of Australia's major broadsheets, to provide content.
Having outrun the hordes of ravening marketing operatives eager to place promos for laptop computers and blockbuster movies on her vlog, Nat has teamed up with the Herald's Seamus Byrne on his Digital Life cast. The pairing started at the end of March with Nat as the 'Real World correspondent' playing comic against Byrne's straight guy while showing the ins and outs of set-top boxes.
And while the dynamic between the poe-faced Byrne and the fey Tran survives the transition to 'useful' video (as opposed to just 'entertaining'), there is a slight drop in interest. But only slight. Nat is still the golden girl of vlog comedy. The weekly cast on the Herald's website ensures that avid fans will have plenty of opportunity to view their favourite web caster.
And that's a good thing.
It wasn't the first video that caught my attention. I saw the promo still on the Herald's website for the most recent video, which treats GPS systems. I eagerly clicked through to view it and I wasn't disappointed. Nat is still on top of the material, giving us a rollicking introduction to a technology that offers a swathe of comedic angles.