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Comedian Gives Graduates

Comedian Gives GraduatesBucking economic trends, graduates' web firm continues to grow, adding comedian Rodney Dangerfield to its roster. Beverly, Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [09.24.01] Tufts graduate Christopher Pape and comedian Rodney Dangerfield have at least one thing in common -- they both know how to stand out in a crowd. While most dot-com start-ups have long since disappeared, Pape's company has distinguished itself from the pack, thanks to a unique blend of talent and drive -- not unlike its newest client: comedian Rodney Dangerfield.

"Oh, it's pure fun," Pape told the Boston Business Journal about his newest client. "It's a dream come true to have a client like Rodney... nothing about this has to be serious."

Pape -- a 24-year-old Tufts graduate and president of Digital Bungalow -- co-founded the company with classmate Chris Christoudias just two days after they both graduated from Tufts.

"We didn't want to work for anyone else, and it was a good market," Pape told the Journal. Despite some sweeping shifts in the economy which sent a lot of young companies into bankruptcy, the Tufts grads' company has thrived.

According to the Boston Business Journal, Digital Bungalow has an annual revenue of $1 million with an impressive list of clients including The Wall Street Journal and National Amusements.

And the Tufts graduates wanted to add Dangerfield, a veteran comedian, to the roster.

"[Pape] had heard a Dangerfield comedy routine on the radio one day in June, visited the comedian's website and fired off an e-mail offering Digital Bungalow's services to improve the 1995-vintage site," reported the Journal.

Dangerfield, said Pape -- would make a great fit with his young company. The comedian agreed.

"I was very impressed with the work they did," Dangerfield told the Journal. "A few weeks later, Chris flew out to my place in Los Angeles and he struck me as a smart guy and the right guy."

Code-named "Rodney," the new site will be ready by next month. The comedian's only instructions to Pape and company: Make it "Rodney-centric."

Digital Bungalow plans to do just that.

"[Once completed, the site will feature] a cartoon Dangerfield peeking through a stage curtain, nervous and twitching in typical Dangerfield shtick," reported the Journal. "The curtain opens on a small stage, with Dangerfield in the middle and various icons on the side linking to his upcoming appearances and past comic routines."

Just as Dangerfield performs to packed audiences, his online counterpart has a large and faithful following.

"I don't think he has any idea of how popular he is on the Internet," Pape told the Journal.

With hundreds of thousands of daily visitors and spikes topping 1 million after national television appearances, www.rodney.com promises to be a popular showcase for the Tufts graduates' work.

While it will certainly help bring Digital Bungalow continued success, Dangerfield sees his site as more of a creative outlet.

"My website is more for fun than a tool to further my career," Dangerfield told the Journal. "I try to keep it updated and up with the times, and working with Digital Bungalow is part of that."

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