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Comedy Corner brings the funny to Cellar

Claire C. Laurence/Arizona Daily Wildcat
The funniest group in the history of Cellar, Comedy Corner, could really round out your Friday afternoon. It's probably best to try and leave the comedy to the professionals. Cellar, Wilbur's Underground, Student Union Memorial Center. Tomorrow. Noon - 1:00 p.m.
By Randi Eichenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 13, 2005
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If Ashley Simpson appearing on last week's "Saturday Night Live" for the second time was the last straw for you too, you might want to look a little closer to home for your comic relief. The UA's Comedy Corner is back for yet another semester, writing some exciting new material in hopes of receiving a few laughs.

Media arts sophomore Travis Tinney plans to do what it takes to get the word out on the street about the approximately 11-person comedy troupe.

"We set things off on fire, start a riot or two, just classic publicity," Tinney said.

In all honesty, the group has not been putting in a ton of hours to publicize themselves, but it does not seem to affect the crowd size for their weekly shows.

"It's nice to see people show up when we're not really doing anything," said Casey O'Donnell, a media arts junior and Comedy Corner director.

The group usually performs four to five sketches followed by an improvisation segment.

Tinney said some of his favorite new sketches include a spinoff of the ever so popular MTV reality series "Laguna Beach," and another that is a twist on the acronym PHAT (Pretty Hot And Tempting). Comedy Corner uses its own one, PHAG, standing for Pretty Hot And Gay.

"I'm partial to those," Tinney said. "I was heavily involved in writing them."

Although Tinney is enthusiastic about the group's dynamic and what a thrill it is to work with his peers every week, he mentioned that there is a slight lack of diversity. According to Tinney, the solo female performer in the group is only able to go on every few weeks because of other commitments. The troupe added an additional three women at the beginning of the semester, but they did not stay on.

"I guess nobody wants to play the prostitute every time," Tinney said.

Tinney made it a point to advertise the need for some female involvement.

"If you're a girl and you'd like to be in an uncomfortable environment, you should audition," Tinney said.

Despite a lack of estrogen, there are a couple new members who are absolutely hilarious, Tinney said. Music junior Steve Aleck, undeclared freshman Jacob Brown and theatre arts senior Brian Neufang are some of Tinney's new favorite members.

"The guys came in and added to the flow or chi," Tinney said. "I have no idea what that means."

Still, with the addition of the talented fresh new meat, no one's toes are being stepped on as far as stage time.

"Everyone's fair game. We don't have anyone in the sidelines," O'Donnell said.

Being in the spotlight is not the only thing Tinney is psyched about. He is also eager to share some camaraderie with the rest of the guys.

"We'll have a movie night where we all get together, normally wearing pajamas. We put popcorn on the stove and let it boil. That's a metaphor you know," Tinney said.

More than anything, Tinney expressed a deep pride in his fellow comedians and for what they do.

"We change people's lives, on the whole," Tinney said. "And I might want to add we're the greatest comedians in the history of the Cellar."

Comedy Corner performs every Friday in Cellar in Wilbur's Underground in the Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Blvd., from noon to 1 p.m. Their Oct. 28 performance will be a special one, centering on a Halloween theme.

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