Where could you watch the intense story of Ryan Seacrest murdering dinner party guests in a hibachi room with a refrigerator? Well, a short trip to the North End may have brought one to Improv Asylum’s Halloween show, “Stranger Danger Things,” on Friday night to see that comical nightmare unfold. The improvisation group brought out its best ghoulish comedy for a night of laughter that the audience will not forget.
Many of the skits centered around the premise of hosting a campfire in the woods, which was especially amusing given the tiny electric campfire placed on the floor that made the scene hilariously awkward. Much of the material for the evening also pulled from current events, which made the show relevant and easy for the audience to interact with. One recurring issue throughout the show pertained to the horrifying clown-sighting epidemic happening all over the country, which the group had a field day with. From staging a skit explaining the origins of this nightmare (some high school student’s immature revenge prank that went viral), to their sporadic interruption of amusing confessions of their characters (one confessed that she never went to rehab for an E-cigarette addiction, she just liked the attention), the clowns were an effective way to thread the show together and provide a scary and funny element to the narrative.
Given that Election Day is right around the corner, the group came up with a humorous parody of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin, by interrupting the Peanuts’ trip to the pumpkin patch with “The Great Trumpkin.” The amusement was increased by the Trumpkin’s vehement assertion that everyone was “WRONG!” to say he wasn’t the Great Pumpkin, and that it was completely obvious because, “you know it, I know it, we all know it.” Continuing on with pumpkin-themed jokes, the group had a skit with the “basic chick’s” obsession with pumpkin spice lattes. Calling for ideas from the audience, a girl’s PSL infatuation escalated to everything from PSL-flavored inanimate objects, to PSL-flavored people, to PSL-flavored PSL. Arguably, this was the most horrifying skit of all, as one can never truly escape the PSL craze that sweeps through coffee shops, grocery stores, and society at large during the upcoming holiday months, and this skit capitalized on pretty much everyone’s visceral fear of a PSL-flavored slippery slope into madness and anarchy.
The show also contained a number of entirely improvised skits, all of which were sufficiently strange and entertaining. One of Improv Asylum’s members asked an audience member for general information about her life and career, and the group acted out its interpretation of her life. The end result told the story of a nurse that was afraid of the dark, and her tragic missed opportunity of meeting a patient that could have turned her into a vampire and fulfilled her lifelong dream.
Additional improvised skits involved a song about the horrors of candy corn (the candy everyone loves to hate), and an exchange between two characters about their bizarre hobbies. Calling on the audience for these hobbies, the skit showed an entertaining conversation about whittling and taxidermy, which turned twisted when an audience member suggested changing the bar of soap the guy was whittling into something entirely different. The comedian then stated that it was actually his dead grandmother’s bones that he was whittling, which elicited shocked laughter from the crowd and served as an excellent instance of Improv Asylum’s immense talent and skill for comedy during its shows.
Further engaging the audience, a few members were selected to participate in a pumpkin-carving contest … to carve faces out of slices of bologna instead of pumpkins, which surely elicited a few shudders from the crowd and served as a chilling and amusing turn of events. Continuing with the night’s eerie comedy, the group performed a progressive song about how “girls can be killers too,” and brought up a disturbing question of why anyone who kills 650 people gets to have a Guinness World Record in gory recognition of the fact, potentially challenging others to exceed that infamous number.
Observations such as this highlight the intellectual thought behind many of the group’s comedic skits, and showcase how well put-together the content and delivery of the show truly was. The comedians all maintained the hilarity and randomness that make for a perfectly entertaining spectacle, and by the time the werewolves and vampires and clowns had come to an end for the night, the audience left the theater knowing they had seen something really special.
Featured Image By Improv Asylum