In today's installment, Andy Morton waxes poetic about geography and comedy, leaving Chip a little worried that this weekend's shows may be light on dick jokes. Catch the shows Friday at Saturday at LAC. Info here.
Now listen to Andy...
LOADED FOR BEAR - UNCHARTED WATERS by Andy Morton
If you asked a friend to name the “Top 10 Funniest People Ever,” I’d bet that Vasco Nunez de Balboa wouldn’t make the list. Balboa’s better known for accessing the Pacific Ocean by crossing the Isthmus of Panama, but it’s too bad that he can’t be on more “lists” in general -- he is Balboa, after all.
(Before we continue, let me assure you, dear reader, that I am in no way associated with, related to, or under the employ of Mr. Balboa. I’m simply a huge fan of his work and bring up his name of my own volition.)
So what does Balboa have to do with humor? Two words: Uncharted waters.
Exploring humor is very much like exploring the physical landscape. There are always those who are content with the status quo. (“Why would you want to try a new way of exploring? We’ve got this puppy down now.”) This dissidence even reaches to the methods of transportation used in the actual exploring. When Ernest Shackleton got his ship stuck in the Antarctic pack ice and drifted for months on end towards an uncertain future, you can rest assured that more than one member of his crew got snarky about how they should have taken a plane. Everyone’s an expert.
The end results of these explorations, however, are only part of the story – the part that isn’t even the most interesting! The real thrills lie in the daring of the trip in the first place.
It’s the same in humor.
Every person has his/her own standards for what they consider to be funny. (Yeah, yeah, “no two snowflakes are alike”.) We can certainly share very similar likes and dislikes about humor but we’re always going to disagree somewhere along the way…and that’s what makes the journey fun. There are many types of humor (slapstick, vaudevillian, self-effacing, sarcastic, absurdist, high brow, pee-pee/poo-poo, bawdy jokes and limericks, etc.) and it would be impossible for one (sane) person to subscribe to all of them. And that’s okay because this is where we, as a collective, can set out and explore the waters.
“Loaded for Bear V: Does Not O.K.” is our version of that journey. We began this process with nothing and worked to find out the places we could go together. At no moment were we all in exact agreement about every aspect of what you will see on stage. There are moments that make us all laugh at the same time, but there are some moments where only a few of us chuckle, and other moments only Nelson enjoys. There are also moments that we don’t completely understand.
Again, that’s okay – we’re exploring.
In no way am I claiming us to be comedy vanguards and that this show will destroy the boundaries of any sketch comedy you’ve ever seen on the stage. We’re still going to have sketches in restaurants, in spaceships, in a Supreme Court bathroom – you know, the usual; but we’ve worked very hard to put our own little spins on them, tweak with the expectations of a scene, and create tiny moments that may result in us all dangling over the precipice, possibly without the ability to return to safe ground.
And yet again, that’s okay – we’re exploring.
In the past, we’ve had no compunction about shocking an audience with something racy or inappropriate, and to be honest, we’re pretty good at it. But that tactic is nothing more than Balboa taking his catamaran out and tooling around the bay without ever passing the breakers.
Screw that! Hop aboard the “Loaded for Bear V: Does Not O.K.” schooner and let’s go explore some shit!
tl;dr – This year’s show is really weird and we’re extremely proud of it.