All this Hamlet The Vampire Slayer happenings makes me nostalgic for the Eat, Drink and Be Larry days. The days when doing the fine art of theatre involved dressing up like Yoda:
I always find comedy to be fascinating in that it’s always part of the fringe. For example, there is a theatre group in Albuquerque called Tricklock (the gentleman in the hat on the right is a member). They are internationally known, bring in acts from Europe and likewise take shows there.
Eat, Drink, and Be Larry’s closest connection to Europe was a German guy sent us a film for our tiny little film festival at the Guerrilla Tango (the now defunct theatre where we did the later half of our shows). We got so excited; we changed the name from The First Guerrilla Tango Film Festival to The First International Guerrilla Tango Film Festival. Which of course is a silly act because of our singular foreign film.
For us comics, we were sort of the bastard step children of the stage world. Most people look at a show as method to express emotions, political beliefs, or abstract intellectual ideas. We looked at it as a way for Dracula to give his three female vampires a full grown man wearing a diaper in parody of the Francis Ford Coppola’s baby eating Dracula.
We really couldn’t take anything seriously. In fact, writing sketches was fueled by people that took themselves way to seriously. I remember a series of sketches I wrote about Steve from Blue Clues investigating really heinous murders with the same doofy kids show gusto. So maybe we did take comedy very seriously. The premise must seem like it’s real in order to be funny. But since the end result is silly, comedy stays on the fringe.
Sketch acts aren’t looking for prestige because there is little be had in late night theatre where Ophelia drowns herself in a bowl of water. But we are looking for that connection with the audience. A well crafted joke can create a moment shared by an entire a room full of people. For a brief period of time, the comic is connected with everyone in a emotional event that can be only described as joy. The performer and audience alike become part of an experience greater than themselves. The allure of comedy is being part of that fringe.