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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Livewire!'s New Writers = Funny Fun Fun

Posted on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM

My attendance to Livewire! came right after I'd discovered how much I wanted to listen to early '90s Enya.

The show turned out to be the opposite of walking around in an eerie drizzle, listening to spooky new age Irish music. For starters, the live music ranged between performances of ragtime and circus. So, right from the get, Portland was DOWN with this theatrical live comedy show.

Livewire! does radio vaudeville. Vaudeville is a vague term which I often confuse with burlesque or strippers but there weren't any burlesques/strippers and the bar was beer/wine only. This new year's I made a promise to myself that, in my continuing attempts to streamlining my life, I am a hard liquor only kind of girl. Therefore, for your reading pleasure, I watched the entire two-hour show sober.

Last Saturday's show was sold out due to a slew of contributing factors:
1) It was back from winter hiatus and people were jonesin (not you Joneser, jonesin).
2) Brian Michael Bendis was their big deal guest and everyone thinks comic books are really important and cool.
3) The show sported some new talent.

Among Livewire's writers and performers are "supergroup comedy troupe" Sweat's Jason Rouse, Sean McGrath, and Andrew Harris.

I don't know if the show was funny before (I'd heard it wasn't) but it is WAY funny now. You have to listen for the lines. They don't hit you over the head. Instead they come fast, like a Disney movie with sneaky sex jokes for adults. That's cool though because I could take my Mormon aunt to Livewire! and she wouldn't catch the Mormon jokes.
She'd be all, "Suzette, this cheese bit is SO FUNNY."

Sean McGrath stands out as a real show stopper but it doesn't seem intentional. Probably it has something to do with his precarious haircut. I'm kidding, he's really funny. He did a bit about cheese adjectives that really made me think (and by think I mean it made me endlessly giddy).

A sold out performance of Livewire! means the audience has exactly zero elbow room. That's okay because we all feel like we're warm and comfy in a womb or something. It also means people like me are sitting directly in front of a peanut gallery of 6-8 people collaborating on South Park inspired jokes. Livewire traditionally does a bit where they read the audience's jokes out loud. You'll be hearing my I, Anonymous about that one later. (Spoiler alert: The interns write I, Anonymous.)

Livewire! was fun and made my delicate hands hurt from clapping. If community theater or live radio is your thing, Livewire! might serve for you to scope. You can catch that cheese gag and test my might at judging humor by listening to Livewire!'s broadcast on OPB, Saturday at 7pm.

CORRECTION!—An earlier version of this post asserted that Rouse, McGrath, and Harris are new writers on the show; in actuality, Rouse and McGrath have been with the show for one year and seven years, respectively, and Harris is a performer, not a writer. We regret the error. -eds

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