Come, Pee Your Pants
Toad City Productions, 736-1027
Through August 25
Josh Thorpe and Sean Miller, the creators and players of this loose jumble of sketch comedy, have a lot of guts. By naming their show, Come, Pee Your Pants, they raise audience expectation to a dangerous degree. "Wow! I'm going to pee my pants at this show?" ponders the weak-bladdered potential viewer. "It must be REALLY damn funny! I can't wait!" Most of the time, when people have high expectations, they're crushed when those expectations are not completely fulfilled. This rule applies even to shows that are pretty damn good. If someone has the expectation that a show will be GREAT or REALLY FUCKING FUNNY, they will be quite crushed if the show is anything less, even if it is pretty good or sort of funny. So the lesson here is: Keep audience expectations low--that way, no one will ever be really disappointed. They'll just be slightly disappointed or even indifferent.
For a reviewer such as myself, though, a show with a title like Come, Pee Your Pants thankfully presents very little challenge. The challenge rests on the shoulders of Josh Thorpe and Sean Miller, who have the task of somehow eliciting urine from their audience's genitals. My involvement with the show, however, is to simply sit back and ask myself, "Am I laughing so hard that I could, under the right circumstances, pee my pants?" And then, if I decide to be really thorough, I look around at the crowd and ask myself, "Do any audience members seem to be peeing their pants?" And the answer to both questions, at last weekends' performance, was no.
Now, that doesn't mean there is nothing to be enjoyed at Come, Pee. It's actually pretty funny in some parts. But it's not pee-your-pants funny, which is something of a let down, because it has declared itself to be nothing but. Still, it's breezy, and rarely boring. It's really just a string of funny skits that the two guys thought up at some point. There is no connection between the scenes and no recurring theme or idea. It's like Saturday Night Live, but without commercials.
Thorpe and Miller clearly enjoy each other's company. Both have pretty good comic timing and even better acting chops. They switch from one unique character to another, without breaking stride. They play hilariously horny old men, sleezy salesmen, spacey folk singers, and in one inspired parodical scene, Steinbeck's infamous duo, Lenny and George. In a way, their talent actually outweighs their ideas. Most of the writing is not particularly original or interesting--or funny for that matter--but is brought to undeserved levels by the team's comic abilities.
It's hard for me to recommend the show, because it's ultimately only sporadically funny, and some scenes are way too long. But it's also ultimately more entertaining than it is boring, and Thorpe and Miller radiate a lot of good cheer and energy. Ah, go see it, ya big lugs. You won't go home unhappy. I didn't, though it sure would have been nice had I actually peed my pants.