REVIEW: ComCo Presents: Chest Hairs Roasting On An Open Fire

Let me tell ya, folks, there is nothing like raunchy humor in improv comedy to really get you in the holiday spirit.

Before the show, instead of plum fairies or whatever on my mind, I thought only of finals and what the hell I was going to get my brother for Christmas. Afterwards, here I am in full St. Nick mode, my cheeks flushed, my voice jolly, my generousitity with baked goods at an all-time high. My mood has been lifted from its normal haunt (the gates of hell) up to the North Pole. I am only a little bit terrified of a future full evolution into that bearded chimney penetrator.

When I stepped into Angell Hall Auditorium A that evening I was shocked to find the crowd so large I couldn’t find a seat. Almost every event I review hosts a meager audience, sometimes no more than an infant’s handful of people showing up. It was refreshing to see so many people showing up to support the school’s longest-running comedy group.

The show was structured into several creative exercises they called games. There was I like my men like I like my _____, a chaptered story, another with characters who could only say the same two sentences, and others. While the scenes almost always slapped, the way they accepted suggestions from the audience wasn’t optimal. Often a repeated, audience-endorsed phrase would be ignored in favor of another they deemed usable. A true improv artist would never cherry-pick in this way. But regardless of this minor transgression, the group showed how deeply talented they are at coming up with often complex jokes and wordplay on the spot. I was most impressed with how long they kept up the full novel about the murderous reindeer, though they had to scrap a few chapters early on because they weren’t panning out well.

I’m sure it takes a lot of confidence to get on stage without a script and play a fool for a room of peers paying $2 a ticket. And I’m sure the power of making an entire audience dissolve into laughter from something you came up with a second ago is worth much more than most other pursuits. There are few opportunities like this that so fully improve the mood of everyone involved. It takes a certain kind of person to pull forward such powerful extroversion for a constructive use.

If you posess any rational thoughts at all, you will be wondering when the next Comco performance is. You’ll be able to attend another in mid-January after the semester begins, again in Angell Hall Auditorium A at 8pm.



PREVIEW: ComCo Presents: Chest Hairs Roasting On An Open Fire

When I saw the poster for this event and noted the strikingly distinct abdominal muscles of their Burt Reynolds drawing, I knew I had to go. Finals szn is truly upon us, and I for one am crawling out of my skin trying to pull my GPA out of the grave I’ve dug for its once-great body. We deserve a break to simply sizzle in nonsense for a while.

Join me in this holiday-scented adventure in improv comedy Friday, December 6th at 8pm in Angell Hall, Auditorium A. Admission is just $2 for a wild night of laughs. Bring your friends, your coworkers, your lovers, and (most importantly) your chest hair. If I can find some way to stick some of my split end trimmings on my chest, I promise to do it in the shape of a heart.

REVIEW: ComCo The Big Show

When my friends and I grabbed seats near the front of the Lydia Mendhelson theater we had arrived over 40 minutes early to ensure prime seats, and yet the first several rows were already packed with people.  Despite being held in a bigger venue than the past several shows I had been to, the seats started filling up quickly, and even with ten minutes left before the start of the show all I could hear was a dull roar as both the main floor and balcony were filled with noisy students excited for their pre-finals fix of improv comedy.

The show opened with a short video clip that prepped the audience for the show they were about to be treated to.  With a dramatic narration done ala morgan freeman, describing the club as if they were not merely a (very good) improv group, but instead a group of heroes destined for greatness, it sent ripples of chuckles through the audience.

Once the Comco members took to the stage the audience was cheering like mad, ready for the show to begin. They opened with a long-form game called “monologue.” Two cast members would  come up and give short monologues based off of a prompt given by the audience, and then the rest of the cast members would riff off those stories for a god 10-15 minutes, jumping in and out as needed.  Some of the situations and stories were so absurd I couldn’t help but laugh, but the cast members did a wonderful job keeping each scene flowing and relating them back to the previous scenes for added laughter.

One of my favorite games of the night was when two cast members had to act as the arms for another two, either working in unison or sabotaging them, and reacting to whatever scene was taking place. The scene was two passengers in a turbulent air plane ride, one freaking out while the other tried to calm them down, to no avail.  Watching the cast members helplessly going along with whatever their “hands” decided to do was nothing short of hilarious.

I’d like to also emphasize how well the cast members bounced off each other as well as read the audience.  If a joke was ever falling flat they did a good job of picking it right back up or cutting the joke short.  Conversely, whenever a joke was doing particularly well they were able to really play it up, reacting in time to the audience and giving them whatever caused the largest cheers.  That being said my friends and I were constantly cheering  and laughing throughout the night, ensuring that my cheeks were red and sore by the time we were leaving the theater.

One of the most touching moments of the night was when the Comco players said their farewells to the graduating seniors, giving them large posters with every show they had done in Comco on the front, and touching personal notes on the back. Both the comco members on stage, and several audience members were holding back tears.

Finally, after that touching moment it was time to close the show just as they close every show, with the game “I like my men like I like my ______,” allowing audience members to fill in the blank to humorous responses. I especially like that they invite Comco alumni onto stage to complete that game with them.  My friends and I couldn’t stop talking about our favorite moments from the show the entire walk back, and despite this being their very first Comco show, they are raring to go back next year.  Check out Comco at their facebook page, here!

PREVIEW: ComCO- The Big Show

With classes ending and finals just around the corner (if they haven’t started already), what better way to loosen up, laugh, and get the energy you need to make it through the next several weeks than a brilliant improv comedy show by ComCo!  Join them tonight at 8PM at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in the Michigan League for laughs and a good time.  The last few times I’ve gone to a Comco Show I ended up smiling so hard my cheeks hurt!


Tickets are 5$ at the door or 3$ at the MUTO. I highly suggest you arrive a half hour early at the very least to get good seats, these shows have a tendency to sell out!

REVIEW: PMS I love you- Comco

The room was just as packed as the last time I had gone to a Comco improv show, thankfully this time my friend and I had arrived a good half hour early and managed to find ourselves decent seats near the front.  The show apparently had 364 people in attendance, so you can only imagine how packed the lecture hall ended up being, but that only added to the lively atmosphere.  The show opened with a short video clip detailing a meeting of the fictional “hookup culture club.”  The video quality was extremely impressive, very reminiscent of the pre-recorded SNL skits that air in between live ones, and it got quite a few laughs from the crowd.  You can watch the the full clip below.

After the video set the mood for the night’s performance, they started with a relatively simple “freeze”-like game, where the actors run in and replace their fellow actors in scenes, changing the scene as they do so.  Very quickly a running gag appeared that would end up resurfacing several times throughout the night.  The joke was that “double frappuchinos” needed to be made with two people. Once again, I was struck with how quick witted and versatile the entire cast is, being able to play off that relatively simple joke in a wide variety of ways.

Another one of my favorite games was where a selection of cast members came up to play various “radio stations,” either real or fictional, all derived from audience suggestions.  For this game the lights are turned off and a single cast member shines a flashlight onto each one of the cast members when it was their turn to speak.  We had a variety of radio stations such as “NPR pets” where a cast member droned on in a dry tone of voice about the various antics of a dog “fluffy,” or the charming musings of “Grandma radio” played by one of the male cast members.

Another one my favorite games the whole night, and one I personally hadn’t seen before, was one where one comco actor was made to guess basic activities, and extreme strange details about those basic activities chosen by the audience, while three other actors who knew the details had to act out the scenes using only non human language. It was interesting to see how the four actors ended up coming up with a similar sounding nonsensical babble that resembled a real language, even coming up with a few words for certain established objects and meanings throughout the course of the game.  While not getting all of the answers right the actor doing the guessing was able to figure out she was doing wild things such as doing laundry with keys instead of detergent with the pope and water skiing in a wedding dress.

At this point a previous cast member who had been sitting in the audience was invited to join them on stage.  Judging by the rousing chorus of cheers from the audience he was well known among the crowd.  After a quick game, they finished the night with what apparently is a Comco tradition, “I like my men like I like my ___.”  for this game the audience would shout out random words and the cast members would have to come up with witty one liners beginning the the aforementioned phrase.  By the time the night was over my cheeks hurt from smiling and I was ready to begin my weekend on the right foot.

Comco’s next performance is March 24th and you can find all the details on their Facebook page here.

PREVIEW: PMS I Love You – Comco

With a much anticipated spring break only a week away, I know I , like many of my peers, am ready to relax and let the stresses and worries of the winter semester be forgotten.  What better way to find a moment of levity at the end of the week than attending Comco’s improv-comedy performance tomorrow, February 16th at 8:00 PM in Angell Hall’s Auditorium A.  Tickets are $2 at the door.  Plan to arrive 30-40 minutes early to avoid the rush and long lines and get yourself a prime seat.