The first time Becky Gonzalez met her now-fiance Robert Baril, it was watching him do jokes at House of Comedy on a brutally-light Wednesday night.
“We met on Tinder and had been talking, so I invited her to come out to the Wednesday show,” Baril recalls of the first quasi-date. “I figured if she came back after that, she must be the real deal.”
What Baril hadn’t planned on was that two-and-a-half years later, he’d be watching Gonzalez perform those very same jokes onstage.
This Friday and Saturday, Comedy Corner Underground is reviving its Take My Wife…Instead show. A kind of a comedy roleplay, the show features the significant others of some of the area’s best local comedians performing their material -- a real Freaky Friday vibe, if you will.
Gonzalez will perform both shows alongside the romantic partners of other established comedians, including Courtney Baka and Philip Kolas. The show will also include headliner sets from Elle Hino and Casey Nelson, providing a palate cleanser of non-relationship destroying comedy.
Since they began dating, Gonzalez says she’s seen her boo perform roughly 200 times. Needless to say, she knows the material.
“I’m kind of a cynical person, and I don’t have a good poker face, so if he was bad I figured I wasn’t going to be able to hide it,” she says. “But I actually thought he was really funny, and very gentleman like.”
It wasn’t long after they first started dating that Baril started incorporating material about his girlfriend on stage, especially the fact that she’s a grandmother.
“I just started doing it,” he laughs.
“That’s not true,” Gonzalez interrupts. “He asked me about it first and I said it was fine. I just didn’t want it to be degrading. Sometimes comedians who talk about their families or spouses just come off as mean and I didn’t want that, but his stuff isn’t like that at all.”
Now Gonzalez has the opportunity to put her own spin on jokes about herself. “I want to do some of the grandma material, but I’ll also probably do some of his sports jokes and some of the lightly political stuff,” she says about her planned five-minute set.
While it might seem like seeing your partner mimic your best – or worst – material right to your face would be a nerve-wracking experience, Baril is fully rooting for his bride-to-be -- to an extent.
“If she does too good I’m not going to speak to her, and if it goes really well she’s definitely never opening for me,” Baril jokes.
Whether or not this weekend turns out to be the launch of a new comedy super-couple remains to be seen, but if you ask Gonzalez, she’s not taking the performance lightly.
“Robert and I are both competitive by nature,” she says. “I’m not saying we’re trying to be the best, but if we are the best couple of the night we’ll be cool with it.”
IF YOU GO:
Take My Wife…Instead
Comedy Corner Underground
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday