Scrimshaw brothers ready for a busy New Year's Eve

​As we usher out 2011, Saturday evening is our one last chance to celebrate the past year and, of course, bring in the possibly apocalyptic 2012. Or, in the case of the Scrimshaw brothers, Joseph and Joshua, there are four chances. The pair are part of a quartet of performances New Year's Eve at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Early in the evening, Joshua's Comedy Suitcase (with artistic cohort Levi Weinhagen) presents Baby New Year's Time Traveling Party, while the pair will team up later for the Year in Denial.

So, what about this year, 2012, and beyond? Let's find out.

What's on tap for this year's edition of the New Year's Eve show?

Joseph Scrimshaw: The Scrimshaw Brothers show will be a little bit of everything. Some old material, some new material, some blue material, some material borrowed from ourselves. The show is always a sort of 21st-century vaudeville show. It will be a really fast-paced show--some standup, some sketches, some improv, some music, some bitching about the year past, and some stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with New Year's Eve.

Joshua English Scrimshaw: And booze! Precious booze! The BLB is graciously providing complimentary glasses of champagne at the end of the show so everybody can get into the holiday spirit.

How did you round up the guests for it?

JS: We tried to find actors who didn't appear in that crappy New Year's Eve movie. Luckily, our talented friends Shanan Custer, Eric Webster, and Tim Uren all wisely turned down roles in that film.

Joshua, what's the difference between the two shows? What audiences are you looking for, and are you looking forward to four performances in a single evening?

JES: Baby New Year's Time Traveling Diaper Party is an early bird comedy show for kids, parents, and other socially challenged people who want to be home before midnight. Since it's an all-ages show there won't be the swears or lewd shenanigans one might associate with a late night Scrimshaw Brothers show. There will, however, be lots of high-energy comedy; verbal, physical, and satirical.

We'll also be featuring some of the characters from Comedy Suitcase's last season of shows, including Josh Carson and Andy Kraft as our own versions of Mario and Luigi, plus the return of the Harty Boys, this time doing battle with Nancy Droo, played by Springboard for the Arts head honcho, Laura Zabel. 

This show will also mark the sketch comedy debut of my kids, Aaron and Miriam [ages 11 and 7], in a piece I'm calling "The Angriest Librarian in the World."  As for doing four shows in one night, I say bring it on.  Adrenaline and champagne will see me through.

In general, how has the last year been? What's on tap for 2012, and do you have any New Year's resolutions?

JS: The last year has been great. I can't remember what my resolution was, so I believe I met it. I'm very excited for 2012. Bill Corbett and I are doing CineMadness in January for the San Francisco SketchFest. I'll also be doing my one man show Comedy of Doom for both SketchFest and on Jonathan Coulton's JoCo Cruise. Joking Envelope will be back at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in April with a show tentatively titled The Sad Vampire Comedy Hour.

My resolution for 2012 is to post even more on my comedy blog at Also, more blatant self-promotion. I feel I'm off to a good start.

JES: I'm also a big fan of 2011. It was the first full year of Comedy Suitcase, and I had a blast. For our second year, we'll be debuting a Comedy Suitcase podcast dealing with the fun and danger of mixing comedy and parenting. We're also excited about our entry into the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival, The Gentlemen's Pratfall Club. It's a raucous meditation on bullying, body issues, and falling down for laughs. I'm also starting a new production company, English Scrimshaw Theatrical Novelties, with my wife, choreographer Adrienne English.  Our first show is a staged silent steampunk comedy called To Mars With Tesla or The Interplanetary Machinations of Evil Thomas Edison. You can find out more at

My resolution for 2012 is to have enough free time to come up with a resolution for 2013.


$14 ($12 with 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival button)

The Year in Denial
9 and 11 p.m. Saturday
$20 ($15 with Minnesota Fringe Festival button)

Bryant-Lake Bowl
810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
For information, call 612.825.8949

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