Pairing up a duo of women with a quartet of men at Charleston Comedy Fest is just calling for a battle of the sexes. Women may be the "fairer sex," but who's the funnier one?
"We are going to try to get those dudes pregnant, and if we succeed at that, we will have won," says Somebody's in the Doghouse, made up of Leah Gotcsik and Marty Johnson.
Surprisingly, Long Pork is betting on the women too. "Just look at nature," says member Lee Russell. "The females are usually bigger than the males, so as to protect the young. Therefore, I imagine these women to start at a height of 7'10", between 200 to 250 pounds, lean muscular comedic terror, and they will prevent us from eating the audiences of Charleston. That, or we will win due to a technical foul."
But Somebody's in the Doghouse is probably right when they quote the age-old saying, "Whether ye have dude or lady parts, just be funny."
Somebody's in the Doghouse: Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
"You may not realize this, but out in the ocean right now are many cruise ships with groups of comedians floating around on them," the ladies of Somebody's in the Doghouse tell us in an e-mail interview. Based in Chicago, Leah Gotcsik and Marty Johnson have made comedic shorts that have appeared in film festivals around the country and on websites like funnyordie.com. They also spent four straight months on the ship MS Norwegian Dawn as part of a Second City cast, where they would perform in front of audiences as large as 1,000. "On land, people who see our live shows tend to be familiar with sketch and improv comedy," they say. "On the ship, we'd perform for audiences who may not have seen a live comedy show before.
"Oh, and we had to deal with waves," they add. "We had one sketch that used rolling chairs, and you never quite knew which way the chairs were going to roll."
But it was even harder to adjust to life back on shore. "It felt weird the first Saturday when we weren't at hot tub sail-away," they say. "Who doesn't want to sit in a hot tub, sipping a piña colada as you sail out of New York?"
They turned their high-seas adventures into Cruisin' for a Bruisin', which they call "part salacious travelogue and part more traditional sketch show." Their act mixes straight-up sketch comedy about life in general with the skinny about the life aquatic.
"Cruisin' is different from our other pure sketch revues because it's tied together with our behind-the-scenes storytelling about the cruise ship world," they say. Gotcsik and Johnson have been back on land for quite some time now, but knowing that Charleston is now a cruise ship port, they figured the Holy City needed to hear their stories.
Though they won't be arriving in Charleston via watercraft. "Sadly, in the interest of time we had to fly, but we'd love to recreate the cruise ship experience for everyone on land," they say. "Meet us after the show. Bring your sequins and your best Frank Sinatra karaoke jams."
"We're gonna be silly and violent," says Long Pork member Lee Russell. "We dial it up to a cartoon 11 and try to stay there until you can't pry your smile away with a crowbar." Performing together since 2008, the four men of Long Pork (Zack Whittington, Zoran Gvojic, Charley Carroll, and Russell) are based in Chicago and have trained at the Second City Conservatory, i.O. Chicago, and the Annoyance Theater.
"We have been described as sophisticated low-brow humor by the press, and I think that is why we work so well with Southern audiences," Carroll says. "Southerners are a bunch of polite people just dying for a good fart joke to show their inner dirty sides. At least that's how my mom is."
Besides performing their show SODA, Long Pork has made videos about zombie chefs and vampires, which have appeared on funnyordie.com. They're admittedly a geeky bunch.
"I'd think we may celebrate our geek-ness more than most, but it's healthy," Russell says. "Everyone is a geek about something. We're trying to expand our own geek-osity from what we currently know so as to be able to relate to all geeks. It's a slow process, but we're working on it."
Carroll adds, "I'm not trying to brag or to get in a 'geek off' here, but at 29 I still don't know the mysterious touch of a woman, but I can describe all of the X-Men's individual powers in great detail."
And just what exactly is up with the matching suits they wear while performing?
"I was born with skin that looks like a black suit with a pink shirt and red tie," Carroll explains. "The rest of the group just tries hard to make my birthmark look normal."