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LA Weekly calls Death by Roo Roo "some of the funniest and raunchiest improv in town"

Feb 27, 2015

You & Your Fucked-Up Family

The Web-based Urban Dictionary defines "roo roo" as a "form of severe, brutal and enthusiastic sodomy perpetrated upon the posterior nether regions of the victim." This definition sure resonates when you're watching Death by Roo Roo perform some of the raunchiest and funniest improv in town. Roo Roo's Jackie Clarke, Brett Gelman, Curtis Gwinn, Adam Pally and Danielle Schneider possess the uniquely perverse gift of successfully merging intelligent, fast scenework with a brand of crude humor common among sailors or an episode of South Park. The troupe's signature improv form is dubbed "Your Fucked-Up Family," where one volunteer from the audience is interviewed about his family. The group then improvises a series of vignettes loosely based on the Q&A session. At their opening night, inspired by an audience member's revelation about religiously zealous relatives, DBRR created scenes ranging from an erection-prone uncle who loves telling Biblical parables to his nieces and nephews in the middle of the night, to a naive moviegoer who eats popcorn filled with "Jesus butter" from a creepy stranger. Can you guess what that butter's really made from? With Soundtrack.
LA Shows

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Kate Micucci profiled in LA Weekly

Feb 27, 2015

Kate Micucci: Music Not Quite From Here

Singer-songwriter/comedian Kate Micucci is not as young as she looks, which is about 12. Because of her diminutive build and pixie face, her eyes are proportioned like one of the sweeter-looking Muppets. The look is combined with a squeaky voice and an expression that flips between being slightly dazed and 10 steps ahead of the rest of us, which she actually is.

With this precocious, childlike quality, she can pluck a ukulele with the best of them, or a guitar, or keyboards, and croon a lyric in honeyed tones: "My self-esteem's not low enough to date you. It's getting close, but it's not there yet."

She plays at the Steve Allen Theater and at Upright Citizens Brigade when she isn't taping for the TV show Scrubs. A racy duo act she has with Riki Lindhome - named Garfunkel and Oates after the second bananas of two famous singing duos - appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in March. The song, "Pregnant Women Are Smug," describes self-entitlement absorption of women with child - a bitter song sweetly sung, which is the very blend that adds up to the smart, wry tonality that packs Hollywood's hipper clubs with 20-year-olds.

Micucci was born in New Jersey and grew up in Pennsylvania. Theater and music have always been part of her life. She has one brother, a stage actor who builds sets for the Public Theatre in New York. Her mother is a piano teacher, which explains a lot. Her father is an electrical contractor in a small town, "but he's really creative," Micucci explains. "He used to make our toys by hand. There was always that kind of imagination in our house, which was always a little crazy. People at my school used to say, 'I just want to have dinner at your house to see what it's like.'"

As a child she was always seeing professional plays because of bus tours administered by the public school system. And her mother was always taking her to see plays.

She describes herself as a late-developing child who didn't date until after high school, yet she was writing songs at a very early age. So rather than write about boyfriends and love, she wrote music without words. In college she started writing songs with words. "My first songs were about animals and shoes. I wrote one song about PF Flyers, and one to my fish.

"Near the end of high school, I was always supershy, backward. I thought I needed a plan. Everyone says you need a plan, and my dad was sick of taking me to different colleges. One day, it was hailing after we'd checked out Cornell and my dad had just had it. He'd taken me to 20 schools. He stopped the car. 'Why don't you visit your aunt and uncle in Hawaii?' he said.

"I said, 'Really?' So I lived in Kona for three months on my aunt and uncle's porch. I woke up one day with a really strong feeling that I had to go to Loyola Marymount University in California, a Catholic school, though I was never raised Catholic.

"So I dressed for L.A. - black miniskirt, lime-green T-shirt with sequins, my mom gave me her sandals. I was wearing these chunky mom sandals, and a black purse, and I had just gotten a cell phone that was peeking out of my purse, and I figured, hey, I'm, like, cool, I really fit in. One girl walked up to me and said, 'Your're not from here, are you?' "

Being not quite from here, and being only vaguely aware of it, is really the underpinning of her stand-up act and her music. Garfunkel and Oates are more brazen, but the essence is the same as when Micucci is solo, singing in the voice of a generation struggling to find its way.
LA General

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Rob Huebel & Paul Scheer featured in LA Weekly

Feb 26, 2015

Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel: Comedy Tweeting Duo

Paul Scheer is creepily hovering over Rob Huebel onstage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood. "What's your first question?" Scheer asks an awkward-looking Huebel. "Fuck you!" Scheer barks, just as Huebel is about to speak. "This is my theater. I ask the questions!"

The room erupts with laughter at this impromptu reenactment of my interview with the two funny men, with Scheer playing himself and Huebel portraying yours truly. It was an opening bit for Crash Test, a show created by comic Aziz Ansari at the original Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and transplanted to the UCBT's L.A. branch by Scheer and Huebel. The show is a comedic amalgam of guest stand-ups, sketches, videos and anything they happen to come up with onstage. The duo, along with Ansari, are regular staples in the comedy world and co-created the cult hit MTV sketch series Human Giant, which ran for two seasons. Both Huebel and Scheer thrive on experimental event-type shows.

"Rob and I hosted an election-night special for the '04 election back in New York. We thought it was gonna be great and were sure Bush was not going to get a second term," says Scheer. "The show got progressively more depressing as the night went on. And then we met up with Aziz, who was doing a show called Crash Test, which was this show right here."

"Crash Test is just an excuse to try out new stuff," Huebel says. "We always feel good about it, but sometimes we're just trying stuff out for the very first time."

"The cool thing about the show is that the audience that keeps on coming back become a part of it," Scheer adds. "We actually know more than a quarter of the audience and have this interesting relationship with them."

Both are comedians of the millennial generation, adept at using Twitter and Facebook for their own hilarious gain. They recently produced A Night of 140 Tweets, a benefit to help build schools for children displaced by the earthquake in Haiti. It was the first show of its kind to feature tweets by an army of 140-plus celebrities, with enough star power to rival the Oscars. The show follows the pair's M.O. of comedy experimentation and pushing boundaries.

"We didn't know what it was going to look like," Huebel says. "A lot of people could have not shown up. The restaurant could've kicked us out. The valet could've gotten fucked up."

The UCB Theatre shut down Birds, the restaurant/bar next door, to accommodate the overflow of celebrity tweeters.

"There were a lot of Hail Marys by the end," Scheer points out. "Will Ferrell decided that day he wanted to do it. Demi Moore was the week of."

Their other popular show, Facebook, an improvised hour of comedy based on the audience's Facebook profiles, sells out regularly.

Despite the hilarious and highly inaccurate reenactment of our interview, both exude a genuinely friendly vibe backstage before Crash Test. They often finish each other's sentences, revealing strong chemistry and sarcasm that can only exist between people who have been performing together for a long time - in their case, since the late '90s.

"We sort of came up together in New York, really getting our legs onstage," says Huebel. "We performed at UCB for years in New York. Our writing style, or at least our sensibilities, are similar, but we do different things better. Paul plays really dumb pretty well, because he is so dumb."

"Rob is also racist and homophobic," Scheer adds.

"But hilarious," Huebel replies with a gleeful grin.
LA General

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