Hello….seems i’ve been gone for a short while, but not to worry…I’M back…sort of.
I didn’t plan on going to the Grandma’s Ashes show last night, I some how wound up there though. You know the deal, you’re feeling weird because you’ve had a hell of a day and you just want to sort of cut loose and laugh, a lot? Maybe you don’t but i’ll just get into it.
Grandma’s Ashes is/was/will always be my favorite harold team. (I wasn’t fortunate enough to grow up watching Bastian.) They have a connection, and if you look closely now at Harold Night, you’ll see shimmers of it here and there (i.e. GoodGirl, Regulars, etc.) in teams that JUST LOVE PLAYING with each other. I’m not talking about that forced bullshit, there’s plenty of that. But i’m talking about teams who live to make each other laugh, audience be damned.
The show’s format has changed slightly, if you haven’t been in ages. There’s no interview anymore which I think is actually beneficial, the entire audience seems more engaged, more on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the secrets will be hits or duds, if theirs or an iteration of theirs will be picked. A pleasant mixture of both from last night. “I ate the last cupcake” which I thought was the most mundane secret of the night actually led to, I think, the most fun group game of the night.
I won’t recall the entire set but I’ll highlight some fine points.
One - callbacks. There were SO many great callbacks. The second set was basically a callback to the group game that opened the second half for the blackout. BSJ was a callback machine - watching him tag out a stage full of golfers to cutback to a video investigation was great.
Two - following the fun/tag runs. Watching two guys ejaculate on Dru and then a tag run which explained why what happened to Dru actually wasn’t actually a 3-way was great. The manner in which GA quickly yes-anded that idea while simultaneously heightening it was great. Abra’s STD move i.e. sticking a q-tip up Dru’s peehole, and Ryan’s ketchup on your dick (bonus points for callback), i.e. checking if Dru was pregnant were all spot on.
Three - Being a devil for the details. In the first scene of the show, Winston was a High School drama teacher and a business entrepreneur who had staged a robbery at his store, seemingly using some of his performers wherein a single TIN OF BEANS had been stolen. After BSJ proclaimed himself a “Top Cop, the best in the biz” Winston called out the fact that it was in fact just a tin of bins, what sort of top cop would be investigating small-time crime like that? It was a tennis game of accusations but being that BSJ was quick on his game he was able to respond that the insurance fraud claim was in fact filed for a million dollars, thereby making it big time crime resulting in EASY LAUGHTER!
Four - Group games. And i think here’s where Grandma’s Ashes really fucks other peoples’ shit up is in the their simple ability to get along as a group on stage, SHARING IDEAS & FOCUS! The group game of Morgan and her mediocre lemon bars and her attempted departure for Chicago, where a family member moved to and disappeared to was great to watch. The balance of the team secretly hating these lemon bars but not wanting her to leave because they needed 8 keys to open some family vault for the family riches. So was the Business Men Do Dave & Busters scene.
Five - Support. Support makes it magical, because when someone’s reviewing a crime tape, it makes sense to do a split-screen and see a reenactment of said crime.
If you’ve ever fallen out of love with improv or taken an extended hiatus for whatever reason, go watch Grandma’s Ashes and remember why you give a shit in the first place.