NOV. 7, 2002
Improv comedy isn’t an easy sell–especially not live improv. It’s one thing to snicker at some anonymous ham on the TV, far removed from the intimacy of the corporeal, but to sit several feet away from a nosediving, sweat-soaked comic frantically trying to save the show can be an excruciating exercise in vicarious embarrassment. Very often improv audiences lean toward the masochistic inclinations of the improvs themselves. Therefore, attracting a more diverse crowd can be sticky business, which might partially explain Wafflefest 2002, an improv and sketch comedy festival hosted by the Heroes of Comedy that runs this Thursday through Saturday at the Hideout. Using all-you-can-eat waffles as a come-on for sketch comedy has all the makings of a “Bad Idea Jeans” commercial, but maybe that’s the point. Waffles, both as a word and a food, have a certain undeniable silliness, a whimsy that you just can’t get from something heavier, such as, say…blood sausage. Also, like comedy, there is a very fine line between just enough and too many waffles. An overdose of either can leave you feeling nauseated. Fortunately, the Wafflefest offers up comedy in easy-to-digest two-hour doses from some of Austin’s best improv and sketch groups: Well Hung Jury, National Comedy Theatre, Gag Reflex, The Clap, Ed32, Catch 24, First Round Draft, Fatbuckle, Girls Girls Girls and, of course, the Heroes of Comedy. This could be just the gluttonous break you need from the gravity and earnestness of Tuesday’s electoral bloodsausagefest.