It was Friday night of opening weekend, and freshmen Hudson Alexander and Reilly Kasabri were returning home to their dorms from the welcome weekend carnival.
After both of their phones died, the business majors happened to run into each other by the Ellicott Complex. Neither of them could have imagined what would happen next.
That’s right — two plastic folding chairs found outside Ellicott helped them discover a mutual love for connection and spontaneous comedy. The pair grabbed the chairs, then started recording themselves talking to students on campus.
“Some people enjoy the little surprise that someone’s sitting in chairs in front of them, but then some people don’t like it and they keep walking,” Alexander said.
Dubbed “The Chair Guys” on TikTok, the duo has taken inspiration from their initial meeting to record various chair-centered comedy skits on campus. The pair will set up chairs in the halls of the dorms or across campus at night. One video featured Kasabri opening up every door on his residence hall floor. That clip garnered over 290,000 views.
The duo attributes their success to the power of improv.
“We opened someone’s door and then we thought, wait, what if we just ran around opening everyone’s door?” Alexander said.
Kasabri and Alexander haven’t just used their TikTok to inspire laughs; they have also used it as a unique outlet to socialize.
“It’s like going out and partying,” Kasabri said. “You walk around and do random stuff, I think it’s more fun.”
When they did go to a party, they debated if the seat was worth the heat.
“It was crowded when we got there and we just thought, ‘Thank God we didn’t bring the chairs,’” Hudson said.
Kasabri and Alexander both say they have reaped rewards from their new hobby.
“Just talking to random people I see on campus that maybe I’m not like best friends with, but I’ll walk around giving a fist bump to — we know each other now,” Kasabri said.
Despite all they managed to pull off, the team has had their fair share of close calls.
The prank that really put The Chair Guys on the map took place when they allegedly “stole” the UB Bull statue. After walking by Sizzles at midnight, Alexander says he saw the bull and felt inspired to “pick it up.” He had watched a couple of Snapchat stories that depicted students riding the bull, so he decided to contribute something himself.
“So we just tried to pick it up. I don’t know why, we just picked it up and it was like styrofoam — it moves so easily,” Alexander said.
With a hind leg in one hand and a horn in another, The Chair Guys paraded their prized bull through the halls in an epic 10-second video. After it went live, the video went viral on the UB subreddit. It has since been deleted from TikTok. When Barstool Buffalo reposted it to their Instagram page, The Chair Guys posted a comment asking for credit. From here, those in the comments section reported the “suspects” behind the apparent bull burglary to UPD.
“We got 15 calls and emails about this incident,” Joshua Sticht, deputy chief of police, said. “Luckily it was actually resolved even before we got the first call due to facilities staff working in the area.”
UPD told The Chair Guys to stay away from doing things that could get them into bigger trouble. But the bull prank speaks to a larger, more disruptive trend that is making headlines on campuses across the country: devious licks. These “licks” entail stealing and vandalizing school property for the sake of a funny social media post. Students have posted a number of “devious licks” videos to UBReddit since the start of the semester.
“There have been several prank incidents like this that have occurred this semester. My only comment on the devious licks trend is that it is a bad idea for UB students to participate,” Sticht said. “We have been able to identify almost every student who has been in these videos damaging University property.”
Although the future of The Chair Guys is uncertain, they mentioned they plan on continuing their skits for “the rest of this year at least,” with plans to expand if the traction is there.
“I’d make a YouTube channel like this,” Kasabri said, as he snapped his fingers.
Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Jack Porcari is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. He is a political science major with a minor in journalism. Aside from writing and editing, he enjoys playing piano, flow arts, reptiles and activism.