Making Drunk Guys Laugh

First, a recap of the weekend:

Friday was a dark and stormy night, and since Fuzzy didn’t even get home til eight, there was no way we were going to make it to CSz. We made a brief, waterlogged, run to Blockbuster, Steak-and-Shake (which is no longer open 24/7), and Starbucks, and came home to snuggle on the red faux-suede couches with the furry storm-freaked dogs.

Saturday saw blue skies, cool weather, and happy faces. Fuzzy went off to get a hair cut and do some light grocery shopping, and I puttered on the computer, never leaving bed, but sitting with the windows open and fresh air curling around me. We left the house around 3:30, and went to Panera for soup and salads, and then to Barnes and Noble where I picked up MacFormat and MacWorld and a bunch of writing magazines, and some books. While Fuzzy looked for a plane – book, I sipped a Raspberry Italian Soda, which was actually a Raspberry French soda – if there’s no cream it’s Italian, if there’s cream it’s French – but was light, summery, and tasty, and really, that’s the point.

We got to the Arena (the ComedySportz theatre is referred to as the Arena) in time to help with final clean-up, had teams assigned, with one rostered player being replaced on the liners because he was stuck in traffic. (He showed up just as we were starting the show, and played in the late show.)

Warm-ups were interesting – we’ve started making our pre-show (but not pre-workshop) warm-ups a little crazy by beginning with Woosh-Bong, as always, but then, instead of clearly stopping one game and moving on, someone will just change it to another game at random, so, standing outside the circle, you’d hear, “Woosh, woosh, woosh, bong! Woosh, woosh, Zip!” and the use of Zip would morph it into another game called Zip-Zap-Zop, and we’d play that for a bit, then go back to woosh-bong which we’d interrupt with FuzzyDuck, so that by the end, your brain explodes from trying to remember not just what comes next, but which game you’re even playing. It sounds confusing, but it really builds energy and concentration. We played a bit of Finish the Word, and then did our counting exercise – we stand in a huddle, and close our eyes, and count to ten, one voice at a time, and if two people say the same number, we start over til we make it to ten. It’s a quiet exercise, and it takes all that energy we just built, and sort of tucks it inside each of us so we’ll have it on the field. Finally, we do the beep circle – passing the word beep around the circle, faster and faster until we’re all chanting it, at which point we put our hands in the center of the circle and shout “Comedy Sportz!”

In the first match tonight, a sold-out show for the Knights of Columbus and their wives, I was on the Blue team. We opened with Beastie Rap, which we lost, though I think the red team really rotated more than we did, and then Red played 4-Headed Broadway Star with a drunk audience volunteer. They were funny, but the volunteer really didn’t get the point of the game. After that, we played Dinner at Joe’s with a volunteer who wasn’t quite as sloshed, though he was a bit unwilling to ring the ‘no’ buzzer. In the second round, we played SlideShow, with two audience volunteers (one of whom was more interested in flirting with Von than being in the game) and Red played Forward and Reverse, which was hilarious, as always. One of the guys from my audition group – hard to believe it’s been almost a year now – is getting so GOOD. Red played Five Things, and guessed three of them, but then Big E, who was reffing, accidentally gave away one of the things they hadn’t successfully guessed in the fourth thing, so he had to give it to them.

At half-time, our troupemate, Craig, who teaches percussion, did a half-time show. Most of us had no idea this was going to happen, but he was amazing, revealing talents we hadn’t previously seen – he did a beat poetry number, and then some singing and playing with four mallets on the xylophone. And then a drunk guy from the audience threw a beer can at him. J2, who was watching the show, immediately went to intervene, but when Drunk Guy got testy, J2 backed off and got our director. Director and Von – who is 6’7″ tall – went to handle the situation. Craig, meanwhile, kept going as if nothing had happened. I’m impressed by that as much as by his talent.

Blue played Blind Line for our catchup round, and then, because it was late and we had a second show, we went right into the last game, 185. I went out before the whistle once, anticipating too much – the refs don’t always blow the whistle for each round – It was a great show, overall, and I’m not just saying that because Blue won the match.

Second show, the audience was mostly kids – including a youth group from Wisconsin. I was on the Red team for that show, Rob reffed, and Big E was our team captain. We won Beastie Rap – going forever on the names “Bob” and “Anna,” it seemed. We then played Changing Emotions and styles in which, again, our refs have started to make it a little harder by combining suggestions, so while we get stuff like “UPer” and “Surprised” in the beginning, they’ll give us things like “Depressed redneck” as the game progresses. Blue played Forward and Reverse, and J2 did this amazing fall as his entrance, which meant that, of course, the ref would keep making him do it over and over and over. I’m surprised the kid could walk afterwards. We played Blind Line for our second game, and they played Dinner at Joe’s, and the kid who was “Joe” was laughing so hard he kept forgetting to “ding” or “buzz” the actors. We played Five Things, and it wasn’t the worst game ever, but I think by then we were all kinda tired, and ADD-ish, and then, when we were writing the sub sheets, our pens were fading, so I had a hard time reading stuff. We got four out of five, though.

Craig did his music thing again at half-time, and no one threw anything, but we weren’t watching from the wings, so I’m not sure what the audience reaction was.

After half time, Blue played Dance party, and then we played 185, eliminating the 2nd half refs challenge because we were all nearly unconscious (this time) instead of merely short on time. Blue won, but it was a good match.

What I loved was that after both matches audience members were arguing over who should have won. This is cool because it means they were totally into the whole concept of comedy as a competition.

We didn’t do notes. We all went home. Fuzzy and I stopped at Denny’s on the way to eat dinner without being molested by small dogs, and then we went to bed. Which is where I still am.

Fuzzy, otoh, is getting ready for his trip.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Making Drunk Guys Laugh by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Making Drunk Guys Laugh

  1. That sounds exhausting! I could barely keep up and I was reading.. I so wish I could have seen it in person..

    Michele sent me today..

  2. I so need to experience this live someday. I’m going to campaign for a conference in Dallas…life’s too short to miss out on brilliance like this.

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