Halloween humor, from the sexiest to the messiest
Comedy and horror have been two sides of the same coin since the beginning of history. Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and we can largely agree that being laughed at is a terrifying nightmare.
Meanwhile, blending the two genres together harmoniously seems to work for everyone involved. From Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, the movies have always been filled with blood-curdling screams one minute and uproarious laughter the next. As have theaters, like the many around here hosting Halloween-themed shows over the next week.
First up is the old standby, your trusty GoreFest XV: Horror House—The House Always Wins at ImprovBoston in Central Square. This year, for the 15th installment of GoreFest, live studio audiences will witness a terrifying season of the faux TV reality game show, The House Always Wins!
“The reality show is a combination of all the tropes from an assortment of reality shows,” says director Nate Lopez. “On its base level, it’s a competition show where all of the contestants live in the same house. As the contestants are eliminated, they are sent to the cellar of the house, where they are digested by the house itself for a thousand years.”
By “digested,” Lopez means that their remains will be regurgitated all over the audience. It’s Evil Dead 2 meets Big Brother. It’s like if watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher was the lead singer of Gwar. What I’m saying is, bring a poncho… and a strong stomach. Preferably your own. A warning from producer Josh Garneau: “Audience members will be splattered in fake blood, guts, and gore. Dress for the season … While most of our corn-syrup based (and gluten-free!) fluids will come out in the wash, we can’t be held responsible for clothing that doesn’t survive. Don’t wear your grandma’s mink coat. Unless you hate your grandma’s mink coat.”
Not to be outdone by its own show, ImprovBoston is also featuring the Halloween-themed stand-up comedy show Laughing in the Dark. Check out two nights of Boston’s funniest wrestling with the skeletons in their closets for your amusement. On Thursday, Oct 25, the 10 pm show stars Nonye Brown-West, Ryan Chani, Joe Kozlowsky, Tyler Morrow, Paul Landwehr, Jiayong Li, Rich Dembowski, Dylan Krasinski, and Chris Player. On All Hallows’ Eve the 8 pm show features Casey Crawford, Laura Burns, RA Bartlett, Sam Ike, Alex Giampapa, Val Kappa, Molly Dugan, Tooky Kavanagh, David Thomas, and Johnny Burns.
For a Halloween show not at ImprovBoston, check out GrownUp StoryTime – Ghostly GhUST. It’s an hour of funny, heartwarming, crazy, and amazing stories read aloud. Created by the original BooTown in Houston and now in Boston, a few of the haunted tales for this month’s ghostly grandstand of fables and orators—handpicked by Colleen Moore and Kelly Smith—include Caberyuyu Diaries by Annalise Cain as read by Alison Turner, Bump in the Night by Austin Lourenco as read by Eric McGowan, and Why I Hate Halloween by Emily Hynds as read by Jackie Arko.
Not all the stories at GUST are funny, but have enough pints of Aeronaut’s homemade brews and I’m sure you’ll bust a stitch or two by night’s end. Grab a comfy spot before the readings start on Thursday, Oct 26, at Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville.
And there are more reasons to abstain from trick-or-treating for candy in favor of a beer and humor. In addition to laughs, the hosts of Brew Haha in the Taproom at Aeronaut brewery, PJ Westin and Vanessa Meyer, will be giving out loads of candy to audience members. Featuring both fun-sized and full-on snickers from Zach Brazaõ (Boston Comedy Festival Finalist), Brianna Classen, Chloe Cunha, James Huessy, Mariel Cabral, and others.
Also, instead of walking the crowded streets of Boston with the ghouls on Halloween, you can have a seat and a laugh in the basement (the scariest room of any building) of McGreevy’s in Back Bay. At 8 pm, Brian Higginbottom hosts a free showcase of comedians, from local favorites to some of the biggest and best in the country. Seriously, Louis CK and Roastmaster Jeff Ross have stopped by to do sets, so there’s no telling who might show up. If someone does go on stage with a mask, expect a surprise.
Finally, why put on a costume when you can watch other people remove theirs? Random Variety gets spooky with its annual Halloween show at the Midway Cafe in JP. This pagan pageantry of comedy, burlesque, and music features dancers Elsa Riot and Switchblade Sadie, music from Frank Fox, ridiculous musical comedy from Mickey PG, art by Propsero, and a set by ringleader Roxy Shake. Get random.
Deadair Dennis Maler is a comedian, actor, writer, & podcaster who has been heard on radio stations throughout the country including SiriusXM, DC101, The Party Playhousewith Jackson Blue and more. He has been featured on comedy festivals throughout the country, founded BostonComedyShows.com, is the Comedy Editor for DigBoston, and hosts the iTunes podcast So What Do You Really Do? He’s funny, loud, abrasively social, and allergy free since 1981.