I missed the Bridgetown Comedy Festival this year. I was on vacation. One night I got a handful of texts like these:
OMG TAMI TAYLOR GANG BANG
You are missing FNL fan fic right now just fyi
My friends, it turned out, had all gone to the Bridgetown installment of Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, a series helmed by Seattle comedian Bryan Cook that invites comedians to share fan fiction based on their own interests and audience suggestions. Up for erotic revision at Bridgetown was none other than Friday Night Lights, one of my favorite TV shows. (Apparently Mrs. Eric Taylor had herself quite a night with the East Dillon Lions.) I heard nothing but raves about the show, which also has a regular gig at the Nerdist Theater in LA.
This morning, I had a slightly staticky conversation with Bryan Cook, who's currently headed up the 101 toward Portland for two shows at the Brody Theater tonight: a standup set with Ian Karmel and Kyle Kinane at 8 pm, and a Fan Fiction show at 10 pm, featuring Cook, Karmel, Kinane, Anthony Lopez, Shane Torres, and more.
Read our interview, plus after the jump.
Mercury: I've never see the show, can you explain how it works?
BRYAN COOK: There’s two rounds of five comics each. The first round is a prepared piece of erotic fan fiction. For the second round, at the top of the show we ask for audience suggestions, and comics have 30 minutes to write a piece based on the suggestion they draw.
For the prepared pieces, do the comics get to choose their subject matter? That sounds revealing.
Yeah. We learn a lot about these people really quickly.
What are some popular audience suggestions?
Star Trek comes up a lot, The Cosby Show, Perfect Strangers.... In San Francisco someone had to write The Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Everybody Poops was a good one—that was in Denver, and the comic, whose name is Ben Roy, managed to write a children’s story in 30 minutes called Everybody Fucks. It was incredible.
Do you personally have a favorite show to write about?
I do different stuff, I don’t always read a straight up fan fiction, but when I do I refuse to write anything but Golden Girls, and no one else can write Golden Girls. Those bitches are mine.
Do people ever actually try to make their pieces sexy, instead of just funny?
There have been a couple where I think I was an intentional move on the comic's part, to make it uncomfortably sexy. Lisa Beth Johnson did Little House on the Prairie, and there were parts of it that were just uncomfortable, because it was intentionally erotic and not just hilarious. It got weird pretty fast.
What's your all-time favorite piece?
Ian Karmel did Jeopardy in LA the other night, that’s one of the more recent amazing ones. Derek Sheen did Charlotte’s Web for a Seattle show, which was absolutely horrifying. Kyle Kinane had to write one for RENT, the musical—that was an audience suggestion.
Did it get AIDs-y?
It got real AIDS-y, real fast.
What if a comic isn't familiar with the material they're assigned?
Googling is allowed, and a lot of times those are the best ones.
Is there anything you're surprised has never been suggested?
I’m surprised no one has suggested Golden Girls, even though I don’t allow it. That was the first thing that came to my mind. Why would anyone write erotic fan fiction about anything else?
Want to win a pair of tickets to see Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction at the Brody Theater tonight at 10 pm? Email me with GOLDEN GIRLS in the subject line by 4 pm and I'll pick a winner at random. (If you don't hear back, you DID NOT WIN)