Grace. Poise. Yummy, because of an occasional queso drip from the deliciousness that was The Three Amigos. Many words compare the Dallas Comedy House Night Interns to that of an American beauty pageant queen. However, many, many more words do not do that. While the DCH crew tends to be infiltrated by unreasonably attractive people, what matters more is the skill brought to the table by these pretty faces in order to keep our shows running.
Hope you like trees, because here comes the sap.
We're celebrating 9 years of fun next week at Dallas Comedy House. Even after 9 years, I often get asked "Why did you open DCH?"
It’s with great pleasure that I got to practice with (mostly) short form troupe Junk Science (I’m also happy that short form beyond the Family Friendly show is making a 2018 return to DCH with the Big Friday show).
When I asked them if they had heard people malign short form before – maybe it was just my own small anecdotal sample size? – they all did that slow, sage, thousand-yard-stare nod.
The mainstream success of Whose Line Is It Anyway? doesn’t automatically make short form some sort of inauthentic improv version of Bud Light. Not only do audiences like it, but if the haters would give it a chance as performers, they might find that GAMES ARE FUN, and play to a lot of improvisers’ strengths.
Throughout history, heroes have gone on long distance adventures for a noble cause. It’s happened in war, sports and now, comedy.
This Sunday at 6:00 pm, Now Streaming will take the stage at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival to showcase the comedic stylings of Dallas, TX. The show originally ran at the Dallas Comedy House in Spring 2017, but the cast of Collin Brown, Marilou Canon, Olivia Frasher, Patrick Hennessy, Lauren Levine and Jonathan Motney are bringing it back for one night only. With assistance from Directors Jason Hackett and Jade Smith, along with Technical Direction provided by Raye Maddox, this show is well worth the trip to Chi-town!
In celebration of their upcoming show, I logged into my Hotmail account and sent each of them some questions to find out more about comedy, thigh slaps and a character named Cooter Tim.
First of all, congratulations on making it into SketchFest! Have you ever been to Chicago before?
Lauren Levine (LL)- No, never. What is this "Chicago" you speak of? (Author’s note: Lauren now lives in Chicago)
Marilou Canon (MC)- Only been through their airport. It's super confusing.
Jason Hackett (JH)- I have only been there for a short layover! Great airport.
Collin Brown (CB)- I haven't.
Jade Smith (JS)- Yes! My cousin lives there. Last time I went, we ended up doing karaoke in an Uber?!
Patrick Hennessy (PH)- I drove the 14-15 hours up to Chicago with Andrea Urbina last year. This time I bought a plane ticket.
Olivia Frasher (OF)- Yes! I went on a high school church choir tour in a past life
Jonathan Motney (JM)- Yes. I went from October 21st-23rd in 2016. Coincidentally, the Cubs won their division for the first time since 2008. Then went on to win the World Series for the first time since 1908. Was I the good luck charm they needed? Some say yes, most say no.
When is the show? Do you know which theater you’ll be performing in yet?
LL- The show is January 21 at 6pm, closing out the festival baby. SketchFest is hosted by Stage 773.
JS- Has this been answered? Probably.
Which character are you most excited to see up on stage again?
LL- Cooter Tim for sure. Excited to see what treasures he brings to SketchFest.
MC- Cooter Tim FOR SURE. That twang had me dying every time.
OF- Cooter Tim.
PH- I'm excited to see that handsome devil Bigfoot on stage.
CB- I'm excited to be Bigfoot again. Can't wait to kiss the boys!
JM- Patrick's creepy incestuous Game of Thrones character.
JH- I hope we get a little more Guy Fieri. I bet he'll try to eat that huge bean!
JS- I'm excited to see our main couple again. Aaaaand Cooter Tim.
Since Now Streaming ended this Spring, a flood of new streaming shows have debuted. Which show would you love to parody?
LL- A parody of The Deuce so Marilou can use the word "throbbing" a lot and because it'd probably work well thematically with the rest of our show. Also Glow, because I'd like an excuse to put everyone in wrestling costumes.
MC- I'd love to write something for The Handmaid's Tale or This Is Us. Huge fan of taking something real and emotional and just comedically shitting all over it.
CB- I really wanted to do a 13 reasons why sketch.
PH- I would like to do a Mindhunter sketch. I also thought that Zumbo bakery show was knockoff jazzercise the first time I saw it, so that could be a sketch.
JM- I feel like a Stranger Things update is a must have. We have strong female actors so glow would be fun to portray.
In the time since your show concluded, Lauren moved to Chicago. How do you think she’ll greet you at your reunion?
MC- Thigh slaps. Only thigh slaps.
PH- A classic double inner thigh slap. So Lauren.
CB- Hopefully with a mariachi band
JS- We have already planned an elaborate song and dance number. (She doesn't know it yet tho, lol)
OF- Expecting a red carpet and step-and-repeat at the airport.
JM- Depends on how famous she is. If she's a star then she'll welcome us by enthusiastically slapping her thighs while locking eyes with each of us. If she's the same old Lauren then she'll welcome us by enthusiastically slapping her thighs while locking eyes with each of us.
If you all decided to stay in the same hotel room, where would everyone sleep?
JS- In a circle, so we could swap ghost stories and shit. But I wouldn't want to participate because I scare very easily and I've watched too many episodes of Supernatural.
MC- We'd shove the beds together and sleep a la spooning sardine style. It'd be nice.
CB- MEGASPOON IN A MEGABED
JH- Stacked in a pile, one on top of another.
PH- Me - a makeshift bed of trash and burlap, Collin - in a cave made of blankets and pillows, Jade - upright in a chair with her head nestled in the inside of her elbow, Jason - In a bed that he wrote "director" on and pushed everyone else out of, Olivia - on an air mattress in a hospital gown, Lauren - Outside on the snowy balcony spooning a bottle of vodka, Jonathan - on his back on the floor practicing pushups in his dreams, Marilou - standing but slumped over, plugged into a nearby outlet and charging
JM- We have 1 AirBnB locked down already, about 10 minutes from the theater. I'm an adult, I planned this shit out.
LL- Sleep? Psssh, party all day, party all night!
I think your set list is still on a whiteboard in the training center. Can I erase it?
OF- Idk, might be worth something someday. But, yes you can.
PH- I guess you can. Fun fact: I bought that whiteboard in Sketch 2 for a Pictionary sketch with Sallie Bowen!
JH- Hell no, frame it!
David Allison is writer and performer at the Dallas Comedy House, who can currently be seen with Ballast Point, David & Terry and The Rift, as well as directing the sketch team Walker Dog and the improv team Watermelon. Previous credits include Jason: A Campy Musical, Freddy: A Devilish Musical, That 90s Show, Return Of The 90s, Sensation: The Next Great Play and more!
This week on Madison Meets People, I got to sit down with Josh Schneider, Level Two improv student here at DCH! While talking with Josh he shared this incredible blog entry he wrote on what he expected he’d learn in improv classes and what he did learn after. I would highly recommend reading it right here: https://somethingmoreserious.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/10/
There’s nothing better in life than when a former Ewing Troupe can pass along their wisdom to a newer Ewing Troupe. I mean nothing. Not your wedding. Not the birth of your children. Getting a Dorito over-coated with Doritos powder comes close, but is still not enough.
So I’m very humbled that I was able to coordinate Gray Wolf, the house Ewing troupe of the last semester of 2017, with Sunglow, one of the most legendary Ewing troupes in DCH lore. Sunglow is Ahmed al-Kadri, Kenzie Taff, Shayne Philibert, Shawn Mayer, Beth Yankuner, Connor Posey, Wes Davis, and Chad Richards. Gray Wolf? Why, that’d be Jennifer Dutschmann, Kaleigh Finn, Georgia Grey, Mark Herrera, John Logan, Cyndi Morales, Jeremy Rivera, and Dane Robertson.