I love theatre. All kinds of theatre. Sometimes I like to shake things up and take a break from the traditional 99 seat theatre ( . . . or 2000 seat, whatever) with a world premiere or revival of a classic to check out one of the many sketch/comedy/improv venues Los Angeles has to offer. There’s something about the team effort and collaboration that I love. You never quite know what you’re going to see and I find that exciting. Sometimes my socks are blown off and other times I’m mildly amused, but I’m usually glad I got my tail in a seat for an hour.
TMI at the Acme Comedy Theatre in Hollywood should be added to the list if it isn’t on yours already. The show was created in 2012 by Second City folks to counter a politically minded show filled with topics from around the world that affect us all. Therefore, TMI was created to provide the stories we actually want, but don’t need, and certainly don’t want to admit to it. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? They say it’s a cross between TMZ and SNL from the 70’s and 90’s (poor, poor 80’s) and that seems about right to me. Over the four years it’s been running, there have been 150-ish shows, 80-ish writers, 130-ish actors, and 140-ish celebrity guest stars! That kind of history and man/woman power is reason alone to check it out, or check it out again.
The particular night of my attendance happened to be the Sunday before the election. They stuck with their usual format of having a celebrity host (the lovely Keith Coogan), but it was definitely a departure from their normal pop culture “what are Justin Bieb and Kim K doing these days and what’s our spin on it” content. They had an Election Special, of course, and in the aftermath of the actual event, I was glad for the laughs and silliness before things got real the next Tuesday. I have a hard time believing TMI will be politics-free entertainment, but I’m sure it will be a healthy mix between the frivolous goofy stuff, and the goofy stuff with serious consequences America is now entrenched in. I’m just hoping they continue to find a way to make us laugh about it. Good luck, TMI. You have your work cut out for you.
The cast was excellent. I’d say there were around eight or so members performing. It was a diverse group, which I appreciated. Not for diversity sake, itself, but it’s just plain more interesting seeing people of all ages and ethnicities, and both genders doing their thing. No offense 20-30 something caucasian dudes, but I don’t want to see you all bunched together all the time. They aren’t the only funny ones out there, and TMI seems to have a firm grasp on this fact. YES! See, there’s hope everywhere if you look for it. There was no weak link. The cast was obviously talented and I guess this would be a good time to give a shout out to the writers, too. It’s awfully hard to be hilarious with a bad script. And there’s a new one each week, folks. Now that’s impressive. They also mix things up with a video segment here and there, for the people who get bored with live funny people in an hour. If this is you, you may want to do a little soul searching.
There was also a house band that played first, last, and a few times in-between sketches. It’s easy to say they were the mediocre part of this particular show — they far from ruined the experience, they just didn’t add to it. I like the idea of a band . . . I’ll just have to go back to catch another show to see if it’s a bad band habit. Doubtful. Each week is different. It’s part of the charm.
Tickets are online. The theatre is centrally located and there’s street parking all over on a Sunday eve. If you are finding yourself in need of a chuckle, I highly recommend putting these fine folks in the rotation. Local artists, local laughs, overflowing with comical talent. This is a no-brainer.
135 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Sundays 8 PM (doors 7:30)
Tickets: $20 (but discounts are around…)