CHICAGO — A standoff is brewing between a local improv troupe and their audience, as Fancy Bananas have refused to begin their evening of comedy until the audience provides them with a location idea for their set, according to sources at the scene.
“They’ve been standing against the back wall for 35 minutes, just waiting for someone to yell out a place,” said audience member Ricky Harris, waiting in line for the bathroom. “But if I’m being honest, this still isn’t the worst show I’ve seen here. The improvised Game of Thrones show was brutal.”
Members of the troupe signaled early on that they were willing to delay the show until the first suggestion was made.
“Look, we have nowhere else to be. I am an improviser, and I am willing to die on this stage,” troupe member Amber Tripp told the audience. “Darren [Wexman]’s Trump impression isn’t just going to do itself.”
“Looks like these people don’t want a visit from everyone’s favorite Used Car Salesman, Harold,” added performer Tracy Baumgarner. “Such a shame.”
The night reportedly began normally, with Fancy Bananas selling out the 16-seat storefront theater. However, the troupe was met with silence after their introduction, save for the sound of a beer can opening.
“At first, I just couldn’t think of anything,” said audience member Dwayne Richards. “But, then, they got really passive-aggressive and demanding — never mind the fact that, no matter where we suggest, they always end up in an ice cream parlor. I didn’t pay $5 to do all the heavy lifting.”
Stage manager and Level 2 student Diane Lee was awestruck by the standoff.
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“They don’t prepare you for this in improv class. What do you do when there is nothing to ‘Yes, And?’” said Lee. “If this doesn’t wrap up soon, I’m going to miss the last bus home.”
The tension nearly ended shortly after midnight, but Fancy Bananas unanimously decided that “Go to hell!” was not a suggestion of a location.
As of press time, the stalemate was entering its fifth hour, with the group playing a round of Zip-Zap-Zop among themselves and alleging they were having “so much fun up here.”
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Article by Dan Kozuh @k0zuh. Photo by Dylan Reiff and Kickstand Comedy Space.