Monday, April 11, 2005

Links: Corey N/Dusty W/FBoS

From 1996 through 2001-2002, there was what one could call a Sketch Comedy Explosion in Seattle. During the climax of this timeframe, there were probably upwards of 20 sketch groups, of varying degrees of quality/success, in the Emerald City.

A textbook definition of the word "glut," really.

I was fortunate enough to be around for the entirety of this run, both as a spectator and as a provocateur. First with the ill-fated Not Named Bob (we weren't), later with the more punk-like Disgruntled Bit Players (more about these guys on a later entry).

So, I was around. I got to see how, out of all of these mostly talented mob-o-funny-folk, the only one to truly "break out," comparitively, is the master of self-promotion Mike D. And I say this not in a derogatory way, Mike definitely deserves his present cult-lite status, he's worked very hard for it. But to say that he was any more or less talented than anyone else around during that time would be bullshit.

(It would be fair to say that he was a controversial figure amongst his peers, partially because he was so adept at self-promotion, but also because his actions came across as, and often were, elitist. Also, if you crossed him, as DBP once did, his pissiness knew no bounds. Beyond this though, he was just a guy, really, no different from the rest of us.)

This may not mean much to those who weren't around at the time, but I'd feel weird if I didn't mention some of the other groups I knew and was aware of: Bald Face Lie (these guys are credited with being the premier sketch group in Seattle, and they've certainly been the most consistent and longest running group; they began around the same time Not Named Bob did--BFL survived, NNB didn't), Lo Blo (which consisted of the other members of NNB), Up In Your Grill (Mike D's group), Kazoo!, Some Kind of Cult, Pork Filled Players, and the Habit (who had their own controversial master of local self-promotion, Jeff S). This is by no means a comprehensive list of Seattle Sketch groups, only the ones I came to identify with that sub-culture, and apologies to those I've left out.

As with any scene, it started out very competitively, with groups actively staking claim in their members, comedic turf and milieu, snarling at the others who were deemed to be the enemy. But soon, thanks to the Seattle media's traditional lack of support for pretty much anything its denizens come up with, the scene was forced to a friendly detente which eventually led to some mixing.

(That I was never involved with said mixing, leads me to believe that I am not perceived to be that funny, sort of the ethnic equivalent to BFL's David G.--great when on a roll, but generally not so much. I, of course, tend to disagree. I'd like to think that I'm at least as funny as Corey N, which may not be saying much.)

This mixing led to the creation of a couple of SuperGroups, and the only one of these that has stuck, with any consistent quality, has been Flaming Box of Stuff.

Consisting of members from Up In Your Grill (Val B, Corey N), Bald Face Lie (Kirk A, Evan M), Some Kind of Cult (Troy F, Dusty W) and Disgruntled Bit Players (the PPP), FBoS (or FLOX, as I call them) will soon be the only reminder of Seattle's sketch comedy hayday. Everyone else is gone, or is about to leave. And even so, FLOX's future isn't all that secure, with members placing their priorities towards more traditional stage productions, or in music ventures. My personal hope is that they remain, and eventually become recognized for what they are: Torchbearers for a once thriving community that specialized in gutsy, original humor.

Dusty W died last week.

[Click here to go to the next in the "Links" series.--tbo]


At 10:27 AM, Blogger Deni said...

Way too nice to Daisey in this post. Nothing but a phony ego-driven two-faced prick, whose talent is waaayyy overrated. And one of the biggest fucking liars I've ever met.


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