Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You Got Your Comics in My Improv!

Last night's improv show at Dad's Garage included an incident that I just had to write about in a complete post, rather than just the "Out-of-Context Improv Lines" I jotted down last week.

Now, it's not an unusual occurrence for people to come to the improv shows in wacky outfits...we get our share of bachelor and bachelorette parties, and costumes are occasionally involved. But at last night's show, somebody came in a Spider-Man costume! The emcee pointed out "Spider-Man is in the house!" at the beginning of the show, but for most of the night they made nothing more of it. (Audience members would shout "Spider-Man" almost every time they were asked for a suggestion, but the improvisers passed on it, as it was too obvious.)

Finally, late in the show, as the audience's expectations had been built up to the breaking point, they finally asked Spider-Man to come on stage and join them in a sketch. Spider-Man was initially reluctant, but one of the improvisers pointed out: "Dude, you came dressed as Spider-Man. What did you THINK was going to happen?"

The sketch that developed was a "blind date" scene, with Spider-Man being set up on a date with Amber Nash's character. (Setting up the scene, the team captain even made sure to specify that this scene was taking place before he hooked up with MJ.) Since Lucky Yates was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a bee on it, he assumed the persona of Spider-Man's stoner roommate, Bumblebee Guy. The scene began with Bumblebee Guy complimenting Spider-Man on his heroic deeds, saying that he hoped to live up to that ideal. The guy in the Spider-Man suit played along with the scene well, accepting the praise.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, a cadre of villains, led by Doctor Octopus (performed by having swimming-pool noodles held to the improviser's torso as "tentacles") devised an evil plan. They would have Electro construct a female robot to take out Spider-Man once and for all.

Cut back to Spider-Man and Bumblebee Guy still making chit-chat in their apartment. Outside, one of the villains is standing with Amber, declaring "Electro couldn't be bothered to make the robot girl, so I did it. You are the creation of Kraven the Hunter...and Spider-Man is YOUR prey!" With that, he sent her in.

As soon as she entered, Bumblebee Guy shouted "Hey, some chick just walked into our apartment!" Spider-Man punched out the intruder (since super-heroes ALWAYS beat up people that they're meeting for the first time). She got up and explained that she was his date, and he apologized (in keeping with the "fight-then-team-up" tradition). (I'll say this for the guy in the Spider-Man suit...I have no idea who he was, but he did seem to have some knowledge of stage combat, since he stomped his foot to simulate the sound of a punch while being careful to avoid actually making contact with his fist.)

Amber and Spider-Man then went out to dinner at Applebee's. A waiter stopped by and offered them some beignets with lots of powdered sugar: "With great powder comes great responsibility." Spider-Man kneed the waiter in the gut. (Again, effective stage fighting.) Staggering off, the waiter gasped "That was justified."

After some conversation, Amber admitted that she was a robot sent to destroy him, but she couldn't bring herself to do it because she admired his heroism too much. "I don't deserve you. You're too good for me...but Bumblebee Man is just my speed." Spider-Man accepted the break-up in stride.

Watching Spider-Man's casual indifference to being dumped, Electro told the other villains: "See, I told you he was gay. That's why I didn't bother with the robot girl." End of scene.

This recap can't capture the experience of actually seeing the scene, but I hope you can envision the comedy magic.

A bizarre coda: As I was leaving the theater after the show, there was a commotion in the parking seems that, during the show, somebody broke into the Spider-Man guy's car and grabbed some of his stuff. (Some of the other theater staff were helping the guy out while waiting for the police to arrive.) Of all the people for this to happen to, it WOULD have to be the guy in the Spider-Man outfit...

And, to wrap up this post, here are this week's Out-of-Context Improv Lines:

"Have a croissant; it's filled with poison."

"Your eyes are like two ports waiting to be filled with ether."

"It felt real good to oralize an oracle."

"I see everything three seconds in the past. It's freaking me out!"

"Shattering the hatter!"

"Don't be a a LIFE detective!"
(That last one sounds like it could be The Question's motto, doesn't it?)


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