Laughmageddon II: The Copenhagening

Over the last few months I\’ve been gradually putting together a new comedy show. This will be my biggest ever, at a huge two-story venue at Trades Hall, Melbourne.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Laughmageddon II: The Copenhagening.

Fundamentally, it\’s a bunch of top comics performing standup and a version of Al Gore\’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, in madcap, tag-team style. Expect music, sketch, animation, stand-up, surprise guests and more.

Here\’s the details:

When: Friday, 20th November, 8pm

Where: “New Council Chambers”, Trades Hall, cnr Victoria Street and Lygon Street, Melbourne

How Much: Tickets are $25 full-price, $15 concession. All proceeds donated to the Australian Conservation Foundation for their “Road to Copenhagen” campaign.

For tickets and more information, head to the web site: http://www.laughmageddon.com.

Laughmageddon_Poster

It… wasn’t a debacle?

Tonight, The Debacles played Impro Sundae as a house band. It went far more smoothly than I’d dared to hope, and I’m really impressed by Brent (guitar/bass) and Matt (drums) for their sterling effort in completely unfamiliar circumstances. Brent, in particular, because he’s currently sleeping about 3 hours a night while raising a 2-month-old child.

It started shakily when the host (Dave Williams) introduced us and asked us to play a little riff; we stumbled through 30 seconds of dissonant garbage as we tried in vain to come up with a funky progression. However we soon found our feet, conveniently located at the ends of our legs, and that made all the difference.

Probably the most challenging game for me personally was Balladeer, in which a player sings a few verses, then the players advance the story, then he sings another few verses, and another advance by the players, and so on. We played a completely different tune in a different style for each verse and some of them worked really well, like the Nick Cave one where Andy managed to put in a Red Right Hand reference right at the end. We’d played none of the tunes before, we just agreed on them while the players were acting out the scene, and then jumped in.

Another fun game was Greatest Hits, which tonight was Greatest Hits of the Gatekeeper (?). Cam named himself something like Oleg the Dirty Fuck (or similar) and announced hits along the lines of Youse Cunts Stay Out. My mother was really impressed. At the end, Cam started groping co-host Janelle’s breasts in a scene that can only be described as highly unlikely to appear on broadcast television any time soon. Perhaps it’s his frustration at the relatively gentile constraints of his own Cable show(s)? It was, however, absolutely hilarious.

As was Nick throwing the word Zimbabwe at random into a word-at-a-time story about an anorexic swimmer.

Anyhoo, we played pretty well and improvised as well as could be expected, and none of the players seemed to have any complaints.

Three word assessment: Hard But Fun!

We’ll be back.

Kitten Kaboodle Review!

Last Tuesday was my last Kitten Kaboodle show for at least a month. Janelle’s friend Michael is sitting in on keys, and he is just amazing. He played piano on Tuesday, and I did the normal impro thing with the rest of the crew (Janelle, Justin, Jamie, Rob and Adam V MC’d). We got great feedback from the audience for having a strong sense of teamwork, which is always nice to hear.

The show started with a normal singing die, in which we attempt to sing a shared story while the MC points at random cast members, who then have to continue singing where the last person left off. Some people (i.e. Rob 😉 are way too good at this, and occasionally have to, er, not try so hard, which he did beautifully when he suicided.

The games were great fun all night. I loved Emotional Alphabet with Rob. We had to begin each sentence with the next letter of the alphabet, starting with Q, and during the scene the MC called out various emotions which we used to influence the scene. The topic was Badminton, but I don’t think we played a single shot as we gradually got around to 69’ing on the floor. Hil-a-rious.

Another fun game in the first half was Serenade, in which Justin and I serenaded Janelle, a Finance officer who liked to knit. I didn’t realise I knew so many financial terms until the awful finance-specific puns stared pouring out of my mouth. “You’re a General Ledger(nd)” being one of the worse ones. You almost could hear the “Voom!” as it flew over people’s heads. Me < => Nerd. The audience loved it anyway. I don’t know whether to be happy or terrified when I’m reminded on stage just how humans love to see others humiliated.

We kicked off the second half of show with the new Singing Die format, in which we sing a The Doo Ron Ron having to rhyme every line with a single syllable name until someone gives up, e.g. (person number indicated with numeral)

1: I found an old dog and I called him Bill
all: (The Doo Ron Ron Ron The Doo Ron Ron)
2: I took him to the park, it was such a thrill,
all: (The Doo Ron Ron Ron The Doo Ron Ron)
all: (Yeah)
3: He ran down the hill
all: (Yeah)
3: And he took a spill
all: (Yeah)
3: I had a view to a kill
all: (The Doo Ron Ron Ron The Doo Ron Ron)
4: He went up to heaven and looked like a dill
all: (The Doo Ron Ron Ron The Doo Ron Ron)
5: Because he kept on licking his cock
(BAAAARP! 5, You’re out)

Another new game we played was Motown (or something like that), essentially creating a motown song with a group of people who each step up and sing about a job, e.g. Tram Conducting. It started to get really good in rehearsals, but didn’t quite come off on stage because we weren’t quite comfy with the music. I’m sure next time, after another rehearsal, it will be much better.

In the end, it was a great night, and recent shows have been all the better for the incredible support we’re getting from the Kitten Club. They bring us drinks at half-time, they talk about big things in the future. It’s fantastic. You definately don’t get that kind of treatment everywhere.

Impro Tuesday

Hm – another night at the Kitten Club, and overlooking certain interpersonal events stemming from my poor judgement regarding a post on this board, it all went swimmingly. Somehow I don’t think I’m cut out for blogging – poor motivation, mediocre writing and too much blogging while stoned all contribute to a thoroughly captivating experience for the reader… provided the reader is a rhesus monkey whose brains have been replaced with a heaping spoonful of mashed potato.

Anyway, tonight.

It started a little slow, and according to some witnesses, my introduction of Yianni was less than impressive. Sorry Yianni. I tried to make up for it in the second half. Apparently, the first intro went like this:

Me: “Well, I’ve finished mucking around. Um.. you guys ready? Ok. Here’s Yianni.” [slow clapping]

A born showman I am not. However! Born showmen everyone else was (Yoda would be proud). They were great, kicking things off with the Kitten variation on “Die!”, which doesn’t have a name yet, but should probably be called “Die while singing!” because that’s exactly what it is. Essentially, the players are given a topic, and have to sing a story on that topic while the host’s finger is pointing at them. When his finger moves to someone else, they continue where the last person left off. If the new singer stammers or just looks at someone a little funny, everyone shouts “Die!” and we gun them to death on the spot. We go through a lot of players that way, but the ones that are left are _great_ singers.

Another notable game was an open scene, where the players can do whatever they like with no restrictions. Does this make things easier, you ask? Shut the fuck up.

“Sing about it” was great. Adam V. was a brilliant crotchety father, whose crotchety-ness reached scaled heights that Wurzil Gummidge could only dream of. He was prepared to wear out the back of his shirt for comedy, and that’s more than I can say for most people. The story centred on a young man who dreams of being an Archaeologist, but who is afflicted with a fear of heights so crippling he can’t stand up without falling over. The ending where he brought a cure for his father’s crotchy-ness back from Egypt 20 years later was surprisingly touching.

Anyway, by the end of the show everyone was ecstatic and the players got carried out on the shoulders of the audience, which looked a bit like an upside-down human pyramid.

Oh yeah, and my parents were there, and yet again they politely avoided mentioning how much we say the word “fuck”. I love my parents. Seriously. They’re awesome.

To the enlightened reader who posts comments like “boring”: What’s more boring, typing this crap or taking the time to comment on it? 🙂 I’m having a good time. Are you?