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Crazy Monkeys Go Wild in Matthews

February 16, 2011

Please welcome Tim Franklin, new writer and official comedy connoisseur, to the blog!

It was Friday, and people were laughing. The Crazy Monkeys, Purdue’s longest-running improvisational comedy group, took the stage in Matthews Hall (room 210) on Feb. 11 and performed an hour-long set comprised of quick, short-form high-energy show games. Ever seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? It’s like that. But without Drew Carey (who was a Marine, believe it or not).

The Monkeys started out big, in a game called interpretive dance. In this game, participating members dance out a historical event, each of them having been given a specific role to play (in this case, they acted out the death of Cleopatra). An audience member who was previously removed from the auditorium then has to guess the event and each player’s role. Joe Flores, a senior member of the group, played the particularly convincing part of a poisonous snake, hampered in his deadly goal only by Cleopatra (played by Dennis Corcoran) herself as (s)he pranced around the stage, just out of reach. The Monkeys had planned on having music, but technical difficulties led to member Kelsey VanVoorst providing music of her own for them to dance to.

Dashing across the stage. Credit: Tim Franklin

The night was a celebration of short form, as they followed up this first act with games like Countdown (players repeat a scene 5 times, each twice as fast as the previous edition, until they end with 15 seconds backwards), Slo-Mo Sports (contestants battle out mundane tasks in slow motion – underwater ironing in this case), and Deaf Interp (two people talk while a third acts out their conversation through miming actions).

The game Sex is Like was, as usual, a crowd-pleaser as they took everyday objects and related them (in most cases, uncomfortably so) to sex. For example, as member Tom Zaglaras told us, “Sex is like a grapefruit because sometimes it squirts right in your eyes.”

Tom had another memorable line in the game Oscar-Winning Moment, where players act out a regular scene, but throughout that scene they may have to be overly dramatic. Tom’s Oscar-winning moment happened to come as he was explaining a drug addiction, which spawned the line “I tried to snort a policeman! Right is left, up is down, ALL IS COCAINE!” Tears to my eyes, heart all a-flutter, Oscar in the bag.

They ended up their show with Last Line Freezes, a fast-paced scenic game where two people act out a scene, off-stage members call out “freeze”, the on-stage players stop in place, and the freezer tags one out. The cuts are fast, so the jokes have to come to fruition quickly, and it usually is a great game for keeping energy high at the end of a show. This particular show was a great example of this – the energy in the room continually built, and held up at a high level for the entire duration – always a good thing to have for comedy.

If you happened to miss this show, any upcoming events can be found on Facebook, Twitter, or their website. You’ll definitely want to check them out out.

–Tim Franklin

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