Around seven or eight years ago, Jerry Belich and I founded Killer B’s Improv Movie Show. For those of you who don’t attend CONvergence or shows at HUGE Theater, Killer B’s is something like a hybrid between Mystery Science Theater 3000, J-Men Forever, and Comedy Sportz. I find clips of oddball film footage, edit them together, and remove all the sound. Then, a team of comedians and a Theremin player replace the entire soundtrack during a live show. Since the people doing the sound work have no idea what is going to play on screen, the comedy is pure improv.
The project started, oddly enough, as a sort of avant garde music format. Originally, I was just going to find the movies and strip the sound, and Jerry was going to play Theremin to the footage. I can’t remember who thought of adding voice actors, but that’s really what made the show come together.
See, I’ve been a longtime fan of the Twin Cities’ improv comedy community. I’d see Improv a Go Go almost weekly at the Brave New Workshop, watching actors forge experimental new improvisational formats for the pittance of a $1 admission. (IAGG is now at HUGE and costs $5, but this Wild West attitude toward improv comedy continues today.) While I have some stage experience myself, I always knew that stage improv was never my strong point, so I always watched in awe as I saw friends form strange comedic alchemy in front of me. I could see how the gears fit together, but never could get to the point where it felt natural to do improv comedy myself.
The Killer B’s format, though, was a eureka moment for me. I could contribute back to the community that I loved so much. I just had to play to my particular skills: a vast knowledge of obscure films, competency at Final Cut Pro, and friendships with other talented people.
The team sprang together. I was the editor. Jerry was on Theremin. Three talented comedians from Soylent Theater, all geeks and all very funny, formed the core of the voice talent: Joseph Scrimshaw, Kelvin Hatle, and Tim Uren.
Other voice actors have joined us for various shows: Nels Lennes, Aric McKeown, Amanda Schuckman, Wally Wingert, Chuck McCann, Richard Fish, and Phil Proctor. We’ve also been joined onstage by guitarist Scott Keever and foley artist Tony Brewer. All have been fantastic to work with. Everyone brings something different to the table.
However, do you notice anything about that lineup? I sure do. Continue Reading →