We'll never forget Elephant Larry, the five-strong comedy team from NYC. These doyens of dumb humor brought their sketches here twice in 2006, for the Comedy Fest and Piccolo. This time they're trumpeting a Greatest Skits package, with a random assortment of jokes, songs, and pop culture spoofs.
"We have a closing number called 'The Clothes Song,'" says co-founder Geoff Haggerty. "I teach the rest of the group how to wear clothes, but I don't know how to do it either. It's fun to do, all the characters are stupid, but we have to rehearse to get it stupid in the right rhythm."
The group has won multiple awards in its seven years of existence, from the Audience and Jury Awards at the 2004 Bass Red Triangle Comedy Tour to The Village Voice's Best Comedy Ensemble of 2009. Their painstakingly unintelligent humor draws inspiration from their idols Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, and Second City, although they have a silly style all their own. "We sometimes do wordier sketches and ones that are thought out," Haggerty says, "but more than anything we want to convey how much fun we have doing them. We're energetic on stage."
That energy has translated well to the internet, where the group has had considerable success with short comedy videos. They're probably best known for "Minesweeper: The Movie," an elaborate adaptation of the desktop game. "That got over a million hits on YouTube and three million on another site," says Haggerty. John Landis (Trading Places, The Stupids) directed their JibJab.com competition entry, "Tall Cop, Short Cop."
"I watch those videos, and I'm surprised by how far we've come," Haggerty continues. "Even 'Minesweeper' was two and a half years ago. The stuff we're not so proud of, people don't watch anyway."
Instead of waiting for someone to hand them a silver-plated deal, the comedians make their own TV pilots and web series. "We funded, filmed, edited, and wrote a pilot last year," says Haggerty, then checks himself and cracks a joke. "Writing it was the last thing we did, because we thought we should have a script to put the random stuff we shot into some kind of order." It comes as no surprise that if the group ever has a chance to fool around with a concept, they run with it as far as they can without leaving their "comfort zone" of effective humor.
Haggerty is itching to perform one of his favorite songs, "Sitting on a Bear" (a parody of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer"). One of the team, Alexander Zalben, has just become a father, nixing their plan to parody the Jerry Bruckheimer/Nicolas Cage movie Con Air on stage (Con Bear, maybe?). But Haggerty, Chris Principe, Jeff Solomon, and Stefan Lawrence will all be present with a "whole new package of stuff" for Charleston audiences.