We’ve all had weird roommate situations. Maybe you lived with a small Frenchman who secretly ate your roast chicken (been there). Perhaps you shared a room with a gal who blatantly (and in front of you) sprayed perfume on her undercarriage each morning — true story. Whatever the case, AirWolf takes these types of tales and mines them for humor in “Let’s Go Back to Your Place.”
For instance, in one show an audience member shared that her roommate kept a placenta on display. One can only imagine what improv whirl that put the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe into. Members Ben Rameaka, Eddie Dunn, Adam Frucci, Molly Lloyd, Tim Martin, and Achilles Stamatelaky, formed AirWolf in 2011 and have performed regularly at the UCB Theatre in New York ever since. Now, you might think after five years talking about horrible living situations, the group would be over the gag, but not so.
“We’ve been told several things: we have nice haircuts, the speed with which we play, but most obvious is that we really enjoy playing with each other,” says Rameaka. Part of what keeps the troupe energized is that the scenarios audiences members share seem to get more and more bizarre.
“A young woman’s aunt in-law was living in a large house with her and her family,” says Rameaka. “The aunt decided she wanted to commit suicide so she went to the medicine cabinet and tried to overdose. On powerful laxatives.”
Rameaka also shared another story that involves a Denny’s waiter, a drug dealer, and a male porn star, but the rest isn’t fit for print.
Does such a living situation sound familiar to you? We’re sure AirWolf would love to hear it. Volunteer and it might be the theme of their set. Either way, with an experienced cast that has been performing together, and separately on The Colbert Report, Broad City, and Adult Swim, you’re pretty much guaranteed a hilarious evening.
Act II features a guy Comedy Fest goers have come to love. McQueen, (real name Jesse Adams) is one part comedian, one part producer, one part impressionist. Add it all up and you get an audio visual parody act the likes of which Dave Chapelle called “mad funny!” So what sort of new stuff can we expect from McQueen this year? “Some Johnny Cash and a theme song for goth kids,” he says.
That may sound quite random, but it’s pretty typical for a McQueen act, which includes a wide array of pop culture references ranging from Gandalf the Great to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.”
“I enjoy taking bits and pieces from all the things I love and putting them together,” says McQueen. “Imagine if David Bowie was really Kylo Ren? It makes no sense but to go deeper and just implement sounds and visuals that make that a reality to me is my art.” Such random connections play a big role in McQueen’s shows, which generally see him singing, speaking, and acting as pop icons in rather convincing impressions.
But pretending to be other people has always come naturally to McQueen. “I remember interviewing myself with a pencil in fifth grade as every cartoon character I could do,” he says. Today he does voice over work for Nickelodeon cartoons including the voice of anime star, Kappa Mikey.
His talent with impressions helped him to start landing gigs as a comedian, but he didn’t want to stop there. During his show, you enter a surreal world of high tech visuals where a projected image of Conan O’Brien opens the song “Ginger Corvette” — “I’m a horny sweet potato /part yam and part tomato/ a loaf of Starbucks pumpkin bread.”
“I love having the ability to create worlds that didn’t exist until the moment I put it together,” he says. He’s got a point. A world with horny sweet potatoes is new to us.
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