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Jeff Houghton and the Writers' Room work to produce comedic videos for clients.
Photo courtesy Writers' Room
Jeff Houghton and the Writers' Room work to produce comedic videos for clients.

Jeff Houghton launches new business

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Springfield entertainer Jeff Houghton launched a new marketing agency with a specific focus: comedy.

Houghton, the host of "The Mystery Hour," said the debut of the Writers' Room yesterday starts what he calls a creative comedy agency.

"This is, of the things that we do, something I really like," he said this morning. "We've gotten good at this over the years."

Houghton and his team of writers are perhaps best known for "Instagram Husband," a viral video in 2015 that's had 7.1 million views to date on "The Mystery Hour's" YouTube page.

The team has worked on several videos for companies, such as 7-Eleven, H&R Block and the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, but until the launch of the Writers' Room, it's always been on the side.

As the pandemic brought Houghton's bread and butter of traveling and hosting events to a near stop, he said he was able to step back a bit and evaluate his business future.

"I'm happy for the pause," he said, noting the concept had been in the works for a few years before he pulled the trigger.

With the Writers' Room, Houghton envisions a mix of projects that would draw on the comedic talent of him and his team, as well as bring on new actors and incorporate client staff members when requested.

Since the launch yesterday, Houghton said an unspecified number of interested parties have reached out. A video for Command Family Medicine PC is among those currently in the works, he said.

As with bits for "The Mystery Hour," Houghton and team will contract with local video production companies such as Blend Studio and Locke and Stache Media LLC.

"What's great is there's just so much creative talent in Springfield," he said.

Similar to late-night television show "The Mystery Hour," Houghton said he found similar concepts to the Writers' Room on the coasts. He said the new business is an extension of his "why not here?” belief that such concepts can flourish locally.

The Writers' Room operates out of the Holland building downtown, he said. While Houghton is the sole employee, he subcontracts with his “Mystery Hour” writing team on video work.

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