I didn’t set out to watch six harolds and then an advanced study harold performance but that’s sort of how things shook out for me last night.
I didn’t take notes but i’ll tell you what, Sandino deserves that anchor slot just about as much as they deserve a weekend slot—if ever one comes available. Some members of the Current were doing a hosting bit right before Sandino came on and i’m not sure who, but someone spilled beer all over the place. As you well know, Sandino comes out with massive energy and generally jumps around the stage for like 15 seconds before eliciting a suggestion. Due to the spill, two things happened. One: Sandino re-entered once the spill had been mopped up. Two: Sandino went with NO SUGGESTION. Baller. After doing a complete harold, similar to The Stepfathers rewind set during DCM14, the team exited the stage once more to re-enter with their music, only this time, instead of taking a suggestion Gulya just called the edit. It was pretty awesome and i’m sorry if you missed that.
The first half of harold night was pretty solid. Johnny Romance and Bucky seem to be meshing perfectly. I liked that Johnny Romance did a living room opening, I thought they generated a lot of fun scenes, which emerged from Matt Starr’s story about his parents’ worst fight ever…over pillows. Bucky felt fun and very physical and it was nice to see Beth Appel back on stage. Surfing was solid. Karin Hammerberg and
Tom Levin (what??) I mean, Matt KLINMAN play the best drunk brunchers in town. Dan Hodapp’s character work as Mr. Bic—the pen magnate along with Tom and Murp as Sharpie and Papermate were each awesome in their own right as well. Natasha Vaynblat. How do you type that kissing sound chefs often make? Perfecto. Fits this team like a glove and is out there making MOVES, son! All in all, pretty great, across the board.
It gets better though, the second half gets much better! In my humble and honest opinion, Good Girl is the team to watch right now and for more than a few reasons. One. Their group mind is obscene. Some of the moves that happened last night, I’m still scratching my head. Someone says something like, Jumanji to heighten a father’s wine cellar security and instantly everyone starts creating that reality as James Dwyer swings across the stage while Noah Forman and Riley all provide support.
Two. They have Casey Jost. Alright, fine, that’s not my real number two. But they seem to heighten and expand games like nobody’s business.
Three. They are technically sound. They aren’t jokey. They aren’t going for cheap laughs. They are just owning the bloody harold.
Four. They are genuinely having fun.
Five. They listen to the small details. There was one of those five-second second beats yesterday. It originated from the fact that Dwyer, the father of the girl who’s name—Becky Something or other, was scrawled across a urinal trough and referred to her as a cum-dumpster. The reason he knew was that he read her boyfriend’s journal. Second beat. James is reading a journal, being narrated by Jost from the backline. Bluvband enters, HEY MAN, WHY YOU READING MY JOURNAL. Insta-edit. Fucking classic.
The Pox were pretty interesting. Laura Grey called the edit. They did (and generally do) a lot of character stuff, I feel. Jordan Klepper as a garbage man poet was epic. I was extremely pleased that Langan decided to make the second beat active, putting Klepper in a place to read poetry at a speak-easy or something like a Busboys and Poets. Grey broke the fourth wall and did some weird shit with Old Spice deodorant during this timeframe. Brian Glidewell stood out as being extremely supportive and just going with what he was given. I forget the character now, but he had an answer for everything but was finally stumped at some point and i enjoyed that too.
Sandino. See above. I’ve already hit Sandino pretty hard. Funniest harold i’ve seen in A WHILE. Glad I stayed and got to witness it. Sad I didn’t take actual notes because my short term memory is really shitty, I’m suddenly realizing.
The Current - Jordan Klepper’s Advanced Study Performance Class. If you haven’t seen this, go see it, you may have just one more chance to do so, and I strongly urge you to catch it. I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance at the show—it’s well attended!! Without ruining it for you, just know that audience members get to read clips from newspapers ranging from the NY Times to the NY Post. Sections of various papers are handed out at the top of the show and then whenever performers feel like it’s time for a new suggestion or a new piece of news rather, they ask for it.
Outside of this being a really fun cast i get the sense that Klepper isn’t a man who cares for jokes. Last night whenever someone initiated with what seemed like a joke or a joke-y premise, the scene was edited. I’m talking, no opportunity for a response, just an immediate edit.
Along those lines, some of the news that was selected was great and you could tell improvisers were chomping at the bit to get a chance at it. Case in point: Shaun Diston. An audience member read something about Danny Devito alone in a London hotel room. He destroy the scene and it was nicely supported.
That’s it for now.
I saw 48 shows in 72 hours. Sure it was intense, exhausting and exhilarating but some real magical stuff happened at DCM 14. Also, some pretty weird shit.
1. The Stepfathers – Rewind.
By now you’ve heard about it and if you weren’t there, you’ve probably kicked yourself for missing this show. The Stepfathers got a number of standing ovations following various intervals in the set. What you need to know is this. The Stepfathers did an entire set. With roughly 18 minutes remaining, Gethard stepped forward and informed the audience that they’d be doing the set in reverse. Without missing a beat, they proceeded to do the set in reverse. After reaching the beginning of the set, The Stepfathers began the set for the second time and midway through the first scene, Silvija pressed pause during it and began commentating, everyone else chimed in. As the blackout approached, someone on the backline had the good sense to just forward to the blackout, at which point, the show was blacked out. It was fucking insane. I got a chance to catch up with Gethard who said, and i quote, “that was possibly the best set of improv i’ve ever done.” I don’t doubt the man, it was definitely impressive. (It also directly relates to something Gethard teaches/preaches, but i’ll save that for another post!)
2. Play By Play.
For an unusually large group of performers this went off in seamless fashion. The Brothers Hines handled their commentator duties with ease and successfully got everyone to crack up at least once with the exception of Connor “Iceman” Ratliff. I especially enjoyed the fact that Will and Kevin made a point of shouting out Jump on Three (Dennie, Phil and JD) for getting on stage late. They called out Tanoye for having referenced a blowjob early on and then again throughout the set. He may or may not have been dubbed Alan Starzinski at some point (infamous for landing in a lot of scenes. Other things I enjoyed during this set: Chelsea Clarke’s object work on a swing set—VERY specific and then my laughter in response to that move getting called out on stage.
3. Death By Roo Roo.
I haven’t had the fortune of seeing all of the West Coast guys perform, at least not at once so having Gil Ozeri and Adam Pally on stage along with the recently departed John Gemberling was a treat. In true Roo Roo monoscene fashion, the set included everything from mythical creatures to shit references to murder. Just a fun performance to watch.
4. Press Conference/UCB.
Both these shows were really fun. First of all, at the presser, we got to find out how many people have been hit on by Jeff Goldblum or Andy Dick, slight advantage to Dick. Then again when the UCB convened and organized an impromptu dating game/scenario on Saturday was another fun appearance.
5. We Can Fix You.
A lot of people jumped off line at Chelsea to get to the Beast or to queue up for Assscat but what none of us knew at the time was that Amy Poehler was sitting in with Burke, Roberts, Walsh and Besser. It was a pleasant surprise to walk in and see her posted up but even better to see how emotional she got trying to help a girl reconnect with her sister/estranged family. I took a great deal of Ian Roberts’ advice to heart, he sounds like a man who’s gone through a lot but also has a pretty solid outlook on life because of it.
6. Wicked Fuckin Queeyah.
The group was introduced by Doug Benson, could it get any better than that? Yes, it could. Missing a few notable Bostonians, those present did not disappoint.
7. Dayvin & Danielle.
Call it a mind meld or group mind or whatever. Gil and John were so in synch it was ridiculous. They undressed a man and sixty-nined another in a complete and utter crowd pleaser.
8. 15 minute sound and movement.
FUN. FUN. FUN. To watch and apparently to perform. The group was incredibly active as you expect. I saw some bum during this performance but ultimately, I saw a whole lot of chest in this show, par for the course at 4:15am.
- Watching both Zach Woods and Bobby Moynihan play with the UCB TourCo All-Stars was a real treat.
- I was a part of breaking bad prov which was apparently rendered so awful, a teacher/performer from the Philadelphia improv scene took to twitter to announce his distaste. This was then discussed at Assscat, ergo, we are famous? No. But seriously, I think we all saw “bad bit shows” or stuff we weren’t necessarily fans of but, no need to hate. People get drunk, then they improvise! At the end of the day, we’re all just here to pay homage to Del Close, so in the words of Pat Baer, ‘everybody, be cool.’
- With the help (read: permission) of Shaun Diston, Shannon O’Neill stole the show at the DCM Morning Zoo Crew.
- The Bonoscene was way more fun than I originally anticipated it would be.
- Krompf breakfast was my saving grace on Sunday morning after a full 24 hours, lets hope this tradition never dies.
- Chuck D, Pat Baer, all the managers, volunteers and behind the scenes crew did an excellent job at a. keeping the marathon running on time and b. keeping the spaces clean. Your work is greatly appreciated.
This is in no way shape or form a complete list as this is just based on the shows I saw. Feel free to respond with things you think I missed.