Comedy super group the Turkeys debut this weekend
All great boy bands start out somewhere.
This weekend, the Twin Cities version of a comedy boy band super group will assemble, when local favorites Gabe Noah, Chris Maddock, Kjell Bjorgen, Isaac Witty, and Chris Knutson debut their new comedy troupe, the Turkeys, at Comedy Corner Underground.
The crew will showcase their talents with three shows on Friday and Saturday night featuring a screening of sketches the group recently filmed together with acclaimed LA-based director Matt Olson, standup comedy, and even audio bits.
Before the Turkey invasion begins, we sat down with Gabe Noah to talk about how the project came about, "Turkey Parties," and Joey Fatone.
Tell me how the idea of the Turkeys started.
We came back from New York pretty frustrated from a comedy tour. Chris Maddock and I were talking, and realized we needed to do something to distinguish ourselves -- because I'm not about to move to New York and start all over. So we got the group together in September, started writing sketches from September through December, and then sent it to our director, Matt [Olson]. He blocked out his calendar for us, and we started pre-production in December, and then filmed in January.
You guys actually put quite a bit into this production, right?
We did. We hired a DP [director of photography] and a real grip, and then had friends locally who helped with wardrobe and makeup and things like that.
Is this weekend going to be the first time you've ever shown these sketches?
It's our first public showing. We're calling it a "sneak peek" because we're going to show probably four of the eight sketches or short films we made. We weren't planning to do this show at first, but Comedy Corner Underground had this weekend free and offered it to us, so we decided to go for it. We'll probably show about 15 minutes of footage, then also do some standup and maybe some live sketches and audio stuff, too.
After this first weekend of shows, what do you plan on doing with it next?
We're going to do another live show like this at Hell's Kitchen, and maybe Joke Joint, but then we're going to do these things called "Turkey Parties." What that means is that there are these houses that put on comedy shows and metal shows, and we'll go in, buy a keg, charge for cups, and then show our sketches at the party. We need to recoup our costs, but then we're going to go shoot a second wave of stuff. After that, maybe we'll take it out west and shop it around; I don't know. But seriously, I don't want to sound like I'm overselling this, but from what I've seen so far this is the best stuff any of us have ever done.
With five really strong comedic voices involved, was it tough to make sure you were all represented equally?
I actually think what makes this so great is how much we each contributed to the project. We all have very similar tastes in comedy, but you have different perspectives. Isaac is a clean comic, for example, and I'm definitely not. So you get some sketches that are clean, some that are silly, and some that are really dirty. Plus we have some stuff that's more character driven as opposed to punchlines, so you get all of our voices.
Now, with five guys in the group, this is clearly a boy band situation unfolding. Which one of you guys is the Timberlake of the crew, and who would be that asshole with the chinstrap who no one remembers?
I'd say that Kjell is probably the Timberlake of our group. He's a good looking guy, except he has eczema on his face. As for the chinstrap -- wait, you mean Joey Fatone? That would be Chris Knutson. He's just a giant, bearded, fat man: fat and forgettable.
IF YOU GO:
Comedy Corner Underground
1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis
8 p.m. Friday, February 1 & 8 & 10 p.m. Saturday, February 2
$10 advanced/$15 door
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