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'Fact Checkers Unit' would rather not investigate what brand of deodorant Rosie O'Donnell uses

August 19, 2010 |  2:20 pm

Luke_perry Every job has its pros and cons. For Russell and Dylan, the overzealous fact-checkers at fictional Dictum magazine, it’s no different.  One day they’re cozied up in bed with a bearded Luke Perry (Brenda and Kelly be damned!) trying to unearth whatever paranormal activity is taking place in the actor’s home.  Another day, plane-fearing Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) is vomiting on them ... in a plane.

It’s a tough job. But someone has to do it.

How else will we know whether "Jeopardy!" luminary Alex Trebek shaves against the grain? Or whether Victoria’s Secret vixen Karolina Kurkova uses SPF 125 at the beach? These are important factoids that need verification and Russell and Dylan, the lead characters in the new NBC Digital Studios series, "FCU: Fact Checkers Unit," do just that.

The series, which premiered earlier this week,is based on a 2008 short film of the same title and was created by Peter Karinen and Brian Sacca--who also play Russell and Dylan respectively in the film and the Web series--along with creator and director Dan Beers.

And there are some celebrity facts, they say, that should remain unverified.

“I definitely wouldn’t care to necessarily investigate what kind of deodorant Rosie O’Donnell wears,” Karinen said during a conference call Thursday to promote the Web series.

“In that same vein, I wouldn’t want to investigate how much extra skin would need to be removed from John Goodman now that he’s lost weight,” Sacca said.

FCU Karinen and Sacca met as students of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where they started out as “serious actors” before switching to comedy.  Since 2003, they have been writing and performing together. Was the idea for “FCU” simply a case of funny-sounding words?

“We came up with this fact-checkers idea, I think, because the phrase ‘fact-check’ is so fun to say,”  Karinen said. “It sounds kind of dirty even though it isn't. The same goes for the word ‘unit’ … and we love the idea of telling their story because fact-checkers are sort of a minority group whose voices have gone unheard for far too long.”

And luckily for viewers, they’re here to offer fact-checkers everywhere a platform.

The first three episodes were unveiled earlier this week: "Paranormal Factivity," "Fear of Flying" and "SPF 125" feature guest appearances by Luke Perry ("Beverly Hills, 90210"), Donald Faison ("Scrubs") and model Karolina Kurkova.

The remaining five episodes, each five to six minutes long, will premiere every Tuesday and will feature guest stars Alex Trebek (“Jeopardy!”), Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite”), Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”) and Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”).

Their dream guest star?  The leader of the nation, President Obama. But viewers can also get in the action. There are plans to post a video asking viewers to submit facts they’d like to be checked. 

Just make sure it doesn’t involve deodorant and Rosie O’Donnell.

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photos, from top: Peter Karinen, left, Luke Perry and Brian Sacca in "Paranormal Factivity"; Karinen with Karolina Kurkova. Credit: NBC Universal