What is it? Improv by familiar TV faces Jack McBrayer (30 Rock, Talladega Nights) and Paul Scheer (VH1’s Best Week Ever, MTV’s Human Giant). Their appearance last year was hilarious, ingenious, and very relaxed. These guys are ready to have fun with each other and the audience.
Why see it? Scheer and McBrayer are two of the hottest young comedy minds around, and they’re already way too big for Piccolo Spoleto. Thank goodness they love coming to Charleston.
Who should go? Fans of cute country bumpkins and gap-toothed smart asses.
PICCOLO SPOLETO • $15 • 50 min. • May 30 at 9:30 p.m., May 31 at 5:30 p.m., June 1
at 6 p.m. • Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. • (888) 374-2656
Rising Stars: 30 Rock‘s McBrayer and Best Week‘s Scheer join forces to make you laugh
The catalyst for great comedy is always a difficult moment to pinpoint, but gap-toothed wiseguy Paul Scheer of Best Week Ever fame remembers how his special two-man show with the comically sweet Jack McBrayer began. “Jack (McBrayer) and I were on safari. We were kidnapped by natives, and just before we were to be eaten, I said, let’s do a two person improv show.”
But is it as simple as that? Is that even the truth? McBrayer clears it up.
“Paul’s mom paid me fifty bucks to be his friend,” he says.
“What! Mom, how could you?” Scheer adds. “I guess what Jack said is true.”
Truth be told, the pair met in 2002 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York. After performing together in various improv outfits, the two decided to try a duo piece on a whim. The result? Comedy gold.
And since then both comedians have seen their stock rise.
McBrayer has a scene-stealing role on Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, which is a tough thing to do considering that he has Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, and Tracy Morgan to contend with. He also has another choice role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, from the Judd Apatow laugh factory.
Meanwhile, Scheer has been pulling double-duty as a commentator on VH1’s Best Week series and one of the stars MTV’s Human Giant, an improv troupe which hit Piccolo Fringe last year. He has also guested on 30 Rock as McBrayer’s nemesis. As for how he is able keep up with celebrity news — the subject of his zingers on Best Week — Scheer says, “Thank goodness for YouTube, TiVo, Netflix, gossip websites, and HBO on Demand. Without those I’d be sunk. I also troll around in the trash cans of celebrities. That helps a lot.”
But while both are finding success in Hollywood, for their Piccolo performance it’ll be back to good ol’ down-home improv.
“We do a two-man, completely improvised show based on an audience suggestion. We incorporate different locations and characters, and we pretty much just have fun for about an hour,” McBrayer says.
Scheer adds, “There will also be a fireworks display, and a live cougar will be unleashed into the theater every night.”
Nothing says Piccolo Fringe like large cats on the loose. Now’s the best time to catch McBrayer and Scheer because before you know they’ll be too big for little ol’ Charleston.
McBrayer starts filming the next season of 30 Rock soon; Sheer hopes to return for a few appearances as well. “My big project is to buy an apartment in Manhattan over the summer,” McBrayer says, “so please give me some money.”
Scheer has also just finished shooting parts in the new Jack Black/Michael Cera movie, Year One, and the Kate Hudson/Anne Hathaway film Bride Wars. Says Scheer, “Also I need money to build a giant laser that will slice the moon in half, so any donations are appreciated.”
Enough $15 tickets to their show and that laser might just be a reality. —Kinsey Labberton