Comedy stripped down

Taking your clothes off for a large crowd is - understandably - a stressful proposition for most people.

Taking your clothes off for a large crowd is – understandably – a stressful proposition for most people.

If that crowd were to burst into hysterics, the impulse to run screaming from the room, followed by plastic surgery and a name change would be equally comprehensible.

But a group of Vancouver improv comics in their mid-40s and 50s have chosen to embrace their self-described “comedy bodies,” all in the name of a good laugh.

The Comic Strippers show is coming to Whitehorse later this month for two shows at the Yukon Arts Centre. The first night has already sold out, so a second show was added.

On stage, troupe members Chris Casillan, Ken Lawson, Pearce Visser and Roman Danylo will be playing facetious male strippers who “have been in the business far too long and now they’re trying their hand at a different type of entertainment to get more respect in their lives,” explained Danylo.

They’ve decided to try out improv comedy. But old habits die hard, and whenever music comes on they can’t help but dance.

(For those wondering, nobody actually gets naked. Picture shirtless men in purple bow ties.)

When they’re not showing off their middle-aged man moves, the characters take the crowd through a variety of improv games based on suggestions from the audience.

“In some ways, that part of the show is like a shirtless SSLqWhose Line is it Anyway?’” Danylo said.

The show has been going on since 2011.

Danylo said his wife came home from a real male review show that year raving about how much fun it was.

“I was like, we have torsos, we can do that.”

Improv parodies have been recently created based on TV shows like Star Trek and Game of Thrones, but no one has tackled the male review genre, he said.

“I thought this is an exciting, fun, specific type of show that would be fun to parody.”

The other members of the troupe were surprisingly easy to convince, he said.

They’re all members of the Vancouver TheatreSports League, the award-winning improv theatre company on Granville Island.

This type of storyline did take some getting used to, Danylo said.

“The first few times we did it, definitely we were all giggling like idiots backstage about the ridiculousness of what we were about to do,” he said.

“People are, in a last minute futile attempt to get fit, doing one push-up backstage.”

Since then the actors are less self-conscious, he said, though they still stretch beforehand.

“This is the most physically demanding show any of us have ever done.”

Since they started, The Comic Strippers have played sold out venues in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.

“The U.S. has Chippendales, Australia has Thunder From Down Under and, you know, Canadians are known for their comedy internationally,” Danylo said.

“So I think it would be really funny if our version was this sort of ironic version of that genre.”

Audiences have embraced their role in the show from day one, he said.

“Everyone’s pretending that we are superstars of sexiness right from the get-go. So the reactions are great.”

The Comic Strippers are coming to the Yukon Arts Centre on April 29 and 30. Both nights start at 8 p.m. and last for about two hours. The shows are for people 19 years and older only.

True male reviews often charge for photos with the cast following a show. After the Whitehorse performances, Danylo said, the cast will be available for free photos.

“With our ‘comedy bodies,’ probably people aren’t really going to want to pay for it.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 5, 2021.… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. They formally announced that as of Nov. 20, anyone entering the territory (including Yukoners returning home) would be required to self-isolate with the exception of critical service workers, those exercising treaty rights and those living in B.C. border towns
Vaccinated people won’t have to self-isolate in the Yukon after May 25

Restaurants and bars will also be able to return to full capacity at the end of the month.

An RV pulls into Wolf Creek Campground to enjoy the first weekend of camping season on April 30, 2021. John Tonin/Yukon News
Opening weekend of Yukon campgrounds a ‘definite success’

The territorial campgrounds opened on April 30. Wolf Creek was the busiest park seeing 95 per cent of sites filled.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: rent caps and vaccines

To Sandy Silver and Kate White Once again Kate White and her… Continue reading

Most Read