When I walked into Mother’s on Friday for a Sheer Idiocy show, I expected a good time. I’ve been to multiple shows and have never been disappointed to be there. And, at least until the next show, it appears that lack of disappointment will continue.
I particularly enjoyed their “long-form” bit, which involves some modicum of a story line and a basic plot. Because it’s all improvised, this can go terribly wrong if done incorrectly; with shorter bits, an improv team can change tactics if a joke doesn’t go over well with the audience. But, Sheer Idiocy’s story about two half-brained cowboys with 50 cents between them was hilarious. The two decide that they need some cows and figure that 50 cents could buy them five whole cows. When they arrive in town, though, the cattle salesman tells them they can only have two. After haggling for a while—and opting out of taking home a dead, green cow—the two cowboys purchase several calves. Unfortunately, the calves die because the cowboys can’t raise anything. They then hypothesize that cows can be grown from cow trees—the seeds of which are dead cows. The two go around town stealing every cow, all of which die. The skit ended with an entertaining scene of the two shooting down several more bovine.
Scenes From a Hat, a game in which the improv actors create scenes based on suggestions provided by audience members before the show, was as hysterical as always. With scenes like “Things you can say about your classes but not your girlfriend,” and “Worst ways for the world to end,” the audience could laugh at jokes that they themselves created. It also allowed the actors to incorporate some of Friday’s show’s running gags to continue, including one that included an actor’s flatulence.
If I had to pick a game as my least favorite of the night, it would probably be “Famous Person Cafe,” a game in which three actors pretend to be famous people in history and popular culture. The catch, though, is that none of the actors know who they themselves are portraying and must figure that out over the course of the game. The problem I had with the game was mostly due to the choice of two of the famous “people.” One was Patrick Star, who I have nothing against, but Patrick is picked too frequently for my tastes, especially after hearing some of the more original ideas coming from the crowd. I also had no idea that one of the famous characters was Michael Phelps. But, this was probably due more to the yelling from the audience than the members of Sheer Idiocy. Luckily, the Helen Keller jokes—she was the other character—made up for these problems in spades.
“Objection” was also a riot. The game involves each actor trying to win a pseudo-court case, which isn’t really a court case. The topic is provided by the audience. As always, it started out semi-rational but quickly devolved into a chaotic situation with the members of Sheer Idiocy interrupting each other.
I would strongly encourage anyone interested in improv comedy—or anyone just looking for a good time—to go to a Sheer Idiocy show. Their next show will be on Friday, October 19. Visit http://sheeridiocy.com/ for more information.