“This just in…” New Comedy Group Performing in Laramie
A new form of nightlife is springing up in Laramie: comedy. Seven University of Wyoming students have banned together to form an improv comedy group that offers free performances open to the public. The group, called “This just in…”, offers a witty array of spontaneous humor. Last Thursday night, the group opened with what they call a “blender thing.” The seven group members call an audience member on to stage and have him or her retell a story. Then the group improvises on the story. Stories that were about bad experiences meeting a significant other’s family and snowmobile accidents morphed into stories that included colorful characters like rhinoceros and Wookiees.
Normally, the stories would start out being similar to the story told by the audience member, with some extra humor added (of course). However, once one of the comedians said something funny, or referenced a past event (such as a visit to the doctor), another comedian who was not participating in the skit would interrupt and yell, “to the doctor’s visit!” The scene, and sometimes the comedians, would instantly switch to the doctor’s office and continue with their humors interpretations.
The audience gave the group great content to work with during the show, but the level of humor they infused into funny (or sometimes not so funny) stories was infectious. One audience member’s story ended up in Las Vegas, where the comedian, a little lost himself, was talking to a stripper about her experiences in “stripper college.” The comedian aptly responded with, “Do they have financial aid for that?” In another scene in an argument between two lovers, one lover responded with, “He knows nothing about love. He uses the kitchen sink to brush his teeth.” Another great line included, “Turns out this Jesus guy is Al Gore.”
While there is no way to plan out improv scenes in advance, the group does rehearse every Thursday, said Ben Weibers, a group member. At their practices, the group does exactly what they do on stage: improv off one another and develop their witty lines. The practice has obviously paid off, as the group worked together better than peanut butter and jelly. Their actions, level of comfort with each other, and cheerful banter signaled a level of familiarity that is only rivaled by that shared between close brothers and sisters. They were like a seamless machine, always on the ready to build off of another’s playful comment or witty joke.
The nearly ceaseless laugher of the audience members showed their approval of the group. One audience member, Kaitlin Healy, a UW student, said that she “enjoyed how they incorporated the audience.” Another UW student, Joel, said that he liked how “nothing was off limits.”
Fortunately for you, the group has another upcoming performance. Next Thursday (February 2nd) the group will perform at 7:30pm and at 9pm in the Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public, so don’t miss it!