Editor's note: The Wonder Twins generally cover music for Metro Times … but, hey, these gals are well-rounded individuals, culturally speaking, and this week they decided to check out one of the area's newest comedy venues (mainly because the publicists at the musical event they were planning to cover didn't get back to them in time.) Enjoy!
On Wednesday night, May 27, the Wonder Twins went to Go Comedy!, Ferndale's improv theater, to experience the Proving Grounds, a show in which three different local comedy groups get up and do their thing. This was a return visit for the sisters, who'd previously attended the Go Comedy! All-Star Showdown, the theater's cream-of-the-improv-crop, a Who's Line is it Anyway?-style weekend show. Anyhow, here's their totally improvised account of the comedy experience.
D'Anne: It's really cool to have an improv comedy place in Ferndale.
Laura: Indeed. I've been excited to check this place out for a while — the building is really nice inside. And smells nice, like a hotel pool.
D'Anne: True! Also, hooray for nonsmoking venues!
Laura: With a full bar!
D'Anne: Which you took full advantage of.
Laura: I did. I had the "Blue Potion," which unfortunately came in a test tube-shaped glass and made me feel like a dorky alcoholic scientist.
D'Anne: It was more of a beaker than a test tube. A beaker is wide at the bottom; a test tube is shaped more like a penis. You suck at science!
Laura: The All-Star Showdown was really funny, nevertheless. It was a lot like Whose Line is it Anyway? without that fat Republican host who can't do improv. What was his name?
D'Anne: Drew Carey.
Laura: Yes, him.
D'Anne: I didn't know he was Republican. I'd rather have Dave Davies as a host any day.
Laura: Yes. He was charming and funny.
D'Anne: He's like Detroit's Drew Carey, minus the mean things you just said about Drew Carey.
Laura: What were the names of the two teams? The Cougars and the Cub Scouts?
D'Anne: Not Cub Scouts. They were the Bachelors. You know? More "strip club," less "Pine Box Derby."
Laura: The Cougars were the lady team. I believe that term is used to describe older ladies, the kind that Ashton Kutcher has had sex with.
D'Anne: Well, I don't care how old I get. I am never having sex with Ashton Kutcher.
Laura: Um, OK. But then you'll never be a cougar. I saw a really funny play at Planet Ant last spring called Code Foxy: Man Down! All three of these Cougar ladies [Anne Faba, Lauren Bickers, and Cara Trautman] were in it. It was a Charlie's Angels spoof.
D'Anne: I remember. You thought it was hilarious. You would not shut up about it. And now, here you are, still talking about it!
Laura: Guilty. At any rate, they were my favorite team. And not just because of their outfits.
D'Anne: Those dresses they wore were very shiny. You are distracted by shiny things. The boys were pretty funny too.
Laura: Yes, but not shiny. All around, a strong cast. We have a lot of improv talent in this area.
D'Anne: Bryan Lark was particularly adorable. I loved how he physically acted out all the "Rap Attack" punch lines.
Laura: I can't believe you originally thought the game was called "Pap Attack."
D'Anne: I misheard them. And anyway, that would be a horrible game.
Laura: Agreed. Look out, ladies, it's "Pap Attack!!"
D'Anne: Remember how they asked for a suggestion and I yelled out "corn" and they used it?
Laura: I am pretty sure you yelled out "corn" after they asked the audience to name something they care passionately about.
D'Anne: No, it wasn't. They asked for a noun. And whatever. You shouted out "elder care," as if that's a thing.
Laura: Hey! That was a perfectly legitimate suggestion. Old people and situations involving old people have a high probability for hilarity.
D'Anne: The ensuing skit actually was pretty funny. And then during the Proving Grounds show, they had actual old people onstage!
Laura: Right! I am an improv prophet.
D'Anne: And it was total typecasting that the two old guys played Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney.
Laura: Indeed. It was also typecasting that the bald chick who was wearing no underwear was Britney Spears.
D'Anne: Uh, were we at the same show?
Laura: Oh, wait! That was a totally different evening at a totally different establishment.
D'Anne: I don't want to know.
Laura: Anyhow, the Proving Grounds show started off a bit rough.
D'Anne: They began by asking for a film genre as a suggestion. Why is it that whenever an improv troupe asks the audience for a film genre someone always shouts "noir"?
Laura: I know! Like that person wants everyone to think he's just watched Kiss Me Deadly or Double Indemnity.
D'Anne: I was confused by the guy who played Santa.
Laura: Yes. I don't want to pick on anybody, but I believe the basic concept of "Santa Claus" may have been hurriedly explained to him right before he rushed onstage. Like maybe he's Canadian or something.
D'Anne: They have Santa Claus in Canada, Laura.
Laura: Yeah, but not the real Santa!
D'Anne: I think the whole "noir" genre threw them off. They never quite got around to doing much with it. What was the crime? Who was the culprit?
Laura: The crime? Improv was murdered. The culprit? The whole cast.
D'Anne: Oh, snap! That group had some funny stuff, though. It was just really spaced out.
Laura: That's the way improv goes. That's actually one of the reasons it's addictive — because you never see the same thing twice and it's so awesome when everything does come together.
D'Anne: The second group, Lessons Learned, punched someone in the face after each scene.
Laura: They were all about physical comedy. And scatological humor.
D'Anne: Not to be confused with scat singing. [Singing] Skittle-dee-do-wop-bop…
Laura: Shut up. Notice how quickly the audience suggestion of "spoon" was made into an "anal enlarger." Like that's a real thing.
D'Anne: I think it probably is a real thing. I've been to Noir Leather!
Laura: To buy a leather dog mask.
D'Anne: Untrue. But you know what's hilarious? Retarded babies with diarrhea. Oh, wait. Did I say hilarious? I meant the opposite of that.
Laura: Yes, but that group still did have some of the best lines of the night. Like, "Babies love tacos, especially preemies."
D'Anne: Yes. And "I like chowder and I like dirty chicks." I'm totally getting that tattooed somewhere. Not on my body, though.
Laura: I liked when the bald guy in flip-flops goaded the other guy into "for real" taking his shirt off.
D'Anne: Because a naked man-chest is a comedy must.
Laura: I'm not so sure about that. Still, it was funny.
D'Anne: The last group onstage was called Narcissus.
Laura: Yes. I think that's the name of Jesus's cousin or something.
D'Anne: Um, no. But thanks for playing.
Laura: They had some funny stuff too — but I was furious that when they asked for a Crayon color suggestion some lady out-shouted me and they chose her "periwinkle" over my "magenta."
D'Anne: It happens.
Laura: But just think — it could've changed the outcome of their entire performance. The audience holds that kind of power at improv shows.
D'Anne: But folks really had to be there to appreciate it. So go check it out.
Laura: For real. Improv is fun, but it's not easy. So kudos to everybody who has the balls to do it.
D'Anne: Or the freaky lady balls.
Laura: Especially those.