Finally, comedy with pictures. Last night I went to check out the first night of the Columbus Comedy Festival. I walked in during Comedy Revolver’s set and wasn’t immediately clear about what was going on at first. There were four guys, one standing and the other three sitting behind a table on stage at Wild Goose Creative. One guy was doing stand up while the others chimed in, usually with a joke at the expense of the comedian standing. I got to hear sets by three of the four guys, who rotated, or revolved, so each had a turn entertaining the audience. They are pictured in this Dispatch article about the festival, and last night they joked they’d gotten a lot of comments about their take on the famous “Dogs Playing Poker” painting.
All of them were very funny, the fourth guy whom I made this determination of based on his comments and asides. The only thing was, it seemed a little disorienting with the four of them up there, constantly interrupting and one-upping each other. I realize what I’ve just said is more or less the point of their act (and the Dispatch article confirms this), which is fine, except it took a really long time for the poor guy standing at any given time to get through a bit. In fact, the last guy who went up was ultimately rushed off to make way for the next event, and since he’d been interrupted by his partners several minutes earlier, his last joke was never concluded. The untold joke.
At 9:30, Parlor Tricks, one of the game improv troupes I had seen earlier this month at The Thirsty Ear, came on stage. While they played many of the games I had seen a couple weeks earlier, it’s not like there were any repeats of material because, in improv, the punchline’s never the same twice. The audience suggestions trigger the scene and they take a different direction every time. Sure, there were some similarities, and I noticed they had the same people playing the same roles in the games (the same two men were the Olympic announcers in one “repeated” sketch and the same man and woman were the athletes, but the sport was different and the jokes fresh. Incidentally, both times I saw the Fake Winter Olympics Sport Broadcast sketch, one of the Olympians ended up murdering the other. But at least it wasn’t the same Olympian or cause of death both times).
After Parlor Tricks, a troupe I hadn’t seen yet performed. The group, 8th Floor Improv, is made up of several OSU students and they were very talented. One of the women in my improv class told me she heard they practice three times a week, perhaps as part of a theatre class? I’m not sure. In any case, they were very funny. Also, don’t assume as I did that college students will only do improv about being college students. They had a much wider spectrum of characters beyond being themselves, from plumbers to parents to gangsters in a botched drive-by. I couldn’t stay for their whole set because it got to be too late, but I hope to see them again.
I am more and more looking forward to my Saturday work shop on sketch writing. It’s only $5 if you want to come along. I will probably be going to more of the festival on Saturday after class, and if all goes well, I hope to shoot some short video there. I will at the very least be bringing my camera so I won’t have to rely on my phone. The iPhone being a sentient being and all, it knows I love it, but sadly it just doesn’t produce the highest quality photos.
On a final note, it turns out our improv instructor has deemed our class worthy of an actual performance at the end of our class. Since the festival’s going on and our workshop with The Annoyance takes both Saturday and Sunday, it will not be this weekend. Instead, those invited are welcome to attend our one time only performance on Tuesday, March 2 at Wild Goose Creative. If you are reading this, you are now invited. Even if I don’t know you, I promise I won’t think you’re too weird for showing up to my amateur performance. Come introduce yourself; I’ll be the one with blonde curly hair, trying not to throw up for nerves.