The Theory of Chaos

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Well hello there, Stephen Hawking! You look like you could use a good rogering!

Last night I heard the above line delivered in a Cheerio! tone by none other than Miss Minnie Driver.

The wonderful thing about improv comedy is that the right artists can take you from a bare stage and, in two minutes’ flat, have you bearing witness to an act of leprechaun rape. That, sooner or later, pretty much every skit ends up being about deviant sex acts is simply, I assume, a side effect of what mood the average Los Angeles resident is in on a Friday night.

The resourceful Monkeygirl is on some sort of mailing list for hardcore Eddie Izzard fans – he often workshops new material at the Coronet Theatre in West Hollywood and sells tickets for a small crowd to test ideas on. Recently he’s been spending a lot of time with the sketch comedy/improv group The Groundlings and I guess he wanted to test out his new muscles.

So he brought four friends with him to the Coronet last night for about 90 minutes’ worth of One Word Improv – where the audience throws out any random word and the performers riff on it. Or not, sometimes they veer so quickly off on multiple tangents that the scene ceases to have anything to do with the original word – like how “smudge” somehow led to a scene of an opium-addled parliamentarian begging the Queen for permission to sell African pygmies for bread. You kind of had to be there – I could spend fat blocks of text trying to relate all the best moments to you, but without the context of manic invention there’s no way to guarantee you’d even see the humor. Suffice to say that, as with the last time I saw Eddie live, my face hurt by the end from laughing so much.

He recently shot a pilot for FX with Miss Driver – who’s looking rather sinewy these days, I thought she was hotter when she was curvier – so he must have convinced her to come out and play – and she was obviously out of her element sometimes but got into the spirit of it and made some inspired choices. There was another young actress there from the pilot, she didn’t fare nearly as well and I recognized rookie mistakes I used to make back in my improv class at Bradley (don’t shut out what the others are giving you, don’t dictate the scene, stop trying to think of funny things to say and just respond). The other two guys I didn’t recognize and I couldn’t hear their names over the applause, but they were clearly old hands at this so I’m guessing they were with the Groundlings.

It’s funny that it took this long for Monkeygirl and I to see Eddie together – because if you trace it all the way back, without him we never would have met. But that story’s for another time.


Post a Comment

<< Home