*Say, have you ever heard the one about The Sarcastic Squad?
The Sarcastic Squad is a comedy production from Adam Guerino who is currently writing this post. The legend goes, ‘Squad started from a booking accident. At Guerino’s stand-up comedy show 5 years ago at a dive bar in Chicago’s Roger’s Park neighborhood, he told all his pals he’d be performing at 8pm. To his shock, the creator of Kids First improv Eric Lutz was also booked to perform improv at 8pm. To appease their fans/friends, they decided to split their thirty minute sets into alternating 3 ten minute sets. This combination of stand-up and improv worked so well they decided to try it again, adding other stand-up, improv and sketch comedians. Needing a name and being nerds, they decided to call this group The Sarcastic Squad.
After a series of scattered shows at the dive bar they were born in, The Squad moved their secret base to The Playground Theater for a weekly run with a comic book/cartoon theme. The cast consisted of Guerino, Lutz and Chicago Reader Best Stand Up 2012 awardee Beth Stelling and Midwest Comedy Showcase creator and host Matt Drufke. Their impressive solo careers helped get people in the door but their team-work through sketch, improv and movies is what built their fanbase. Each program was hand-drawn by Guerino, filled with comic strips and super hero alter-egoes for each cast member. The live shows featured regular sketch characters included Stelling’s “Secret Agent Julia Child” and Drufke’s “Diabetoid the Insulin Deficient Robot” and improv games from Lutz such as audience suggestion-based “Rap the News” and audience volunteer inspired “The Woo.”
After a successful six month run at Playground, they moved their production to Berlin Nightclub for their next season called The Pre After-Party Show which was followed by a dance party with legendary Chicago-based DJ Greg Haus with new cast member Cameron Esposito who later created the TBS Just for Laughs show Side Mullet Nation. Unofficial cast-members included Sketchfest sketch duo The Puterbaugh Sisterz appeared in almost half of the shows. Utilizing the empty space of the after-hours club during the evening and surrounding the audience with dual stages, ‘Squad did innovative shows such as Glitter Party: The Opera where every act was musical and even the host sung the introductions and crowd-work and ended with the the premiere of the music video Glitter Party from The Puterbaugh Sisterz and the all-male stand-up comedy show to fit the alternative, queer mood of Berlin Sausage Fest hosted by Stelling.
It has been over two years since Squad’s last show, but the stories live on and Guerino is ready for the Squad to fly again. Throughout March, ‘Squad will be workshopping a new season in front a live audience at Town Hall Pub Tuesdays at 8pm March 6, 13 and 20. From this workshop, hosted by Guerino, the next season cast will be selected and audience games and sketch characters will be explored.
Tuesday March 20th is hosted by Megan Gailey (Your Funniest Friends) features stand-up from Candy Lawrence (TBS Just For Laughs,) Lisa Laureta (Chicago Underground,) Mike Lebovitz (Comedians You Should Know Show,) and Adam Guerino (writing this press release,) sketch from Matteo Lane (Laugh Track at Sidetrack,) Shaun Sperling and Matt Leyes (Joyce and Judy) and Second Hand News from Mark Nabong (Edge Comedy Club.)
March 13 and 20 at Town Hall Pub 3340 N Halsted (between Buckingham and Roscoe) at 8pm, admission is decided by one roll of a 6-sided dice and includes a companion 4-page hand-drawn comic book. Great laughs, cheap beers, hope to see you there.