ViacomCBS has announced the launch of Balcony Stories, a short-form series launched to celebrate life during the lockdown. Produced by VIS in collaboration with Freemantle, the series leverages user-generated content from both audience and talent, redefining the role of the users by transforming them into active storytellers and the protagonists of their shows. Mina Liccione, […]
ViacomCBS has announced the launch of Balcony Stories, a short-form series launched to celebrate life during the lockdown. Produced by VIS in collaboration with Freemantle, the series leverages user-generated content from both audience and talent, redefining the role of the users by transforming them into active storytellers and the protagonists of their shows.
Mina Liccione, known as Dubai’s first lady of comedy, was one of the artists whose short clip was chosen to appear on broadcasts on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 channels across the world. The American-born comedian who hails from New York and founded the region’s first comedy school, submitted a video of her performing a mock fashion show, using everyday items from around the house.
Liccione said: “If anything came in handy during the lockdown, it was my sense of humour! One day I found myself asking ‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry?’ I chose to laugh, stay positive and put my anxiety into my comedy in hopes of helping others laugh too. After seeing the pillow challenge, I had this silly idea of taking it to the next level and creating avant-GARB outfits from stuff around the house and doing a TRASHion show. All it took was a global pandemic for me to go viral! I’m so happy to be a part of Balcony Stories. The series really honours this unique moment in time and reflects the humour and creativity we’ve had to rely on.”
Similarly, Magic Phil, one of the region’s most loved children’s entertainers, was chosen for a creative film shot entirely in his garden.
“Staying silly is something I’ve certainly not stopped doing during lockdown! I’ve become more creative and used my time wisely creating fun content for children, one which I’m super excited to have premiere on Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 channels worldwide. Who would have thought a video of me watching some stuffed animals in my garden would be such a hit!”
Khalid Omar has been performing stand-up and comedy podcasts for many years, including on Comedy Central Presents: Comedy 3Alwagef and Comedy Central Presents: Menna W Fina. Balcony Stories offered a means for him to unleash the laughs.
“As a comedian and a live entertainer, this whole lockdown thing has taken the most important and fun part of my job. So the idea of Balcony Stories was super exciting and as close as I can get to interact with a wide audience and do what I love; comedy! People are doing a lot of activities with their families in the lockdown, so I figured the best way would be a cooking video with my daughter, who’s not really into it! But it’s a lockdown! Tough luck! She doesn’t have any other options, other than getting adopted by Angelina Jolie of course.”
To date, Balcony Stories has been distributed across 65 channels and broadcasted across more than 130 countries around the world, reaching more than 200m households.