For NYC-based comedians Jen Jamula and Allison Goldberg, anything they read online is fodder for Blogologues, their live sketch comedy show in which they perform the internet.
Since 2011, the two friends and collaborators, who met studying theater at Yale undergrad, have acted out, sung and danced to word-for-word reenactments of Craigslist missed connections, Tinder profiles and Yelp reviews. Their productions have spanned the viral Twitter story about a woman’s pooping fiasco on a date (which they performed as a mini-opera) to the 2010 Hairpin article “The ‘Winter Boyfriend'", skewering the infamous Marie Claire piece, “Should you lock in a 'winter boyfriend'?”
Once a month, the duo performs Blogologues at the People’s Improv Theater (P.I.T.) in Chelsea, combining a mix of audience favorites plus new sketches, often tied to the news cycle. The week before Election Day, the two acted out trending Twitter topics like #TrumpBookReport and #NastyWoman. For the latter, they set the best nasty woman tweets to Prince proteges Vanity 6's song “Nasty Girl” with a full song and dance routine. They wore pantsuits.
“We wore ‘I’m with Her' shirts," remembers Jamula. "The whole thing was so pro-Hillary.” They say it’s too sad to perform now.
Since Nov. 9, their acts have taken on more political heft, because so much of what’s on the internet can no longer be read as benign. At the show this Friday, they’re debuting a brand new sketch — which you can file under dark comedy — based on the Breitbart article, “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”
“[The article] reads like a joke, but it isn’t a joke,” says Goldberg.
“The alt-right is a group we have known about for years because we spend a lot of time on the deep dark depths of the internet,” she explains. “We've seen them on 4Chan, Reddit, all the Men’s Rights sites, saying really hateful things.” With Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon named chief strategist and senior advisor to Trump, “now [the alt-right] is empowered and they’re out.”
Jamula and Goldberg will perform the article dressed in Catholic school girl uniforms, “doing a cross between a purity ceremony and sorority hazing," bringing up women onstage to convince them to “let go of their evil birth control ways.”
“The world we lived in changed drastically on Nov. 9th,” says Goldberg. “Comedy is a really interesting tool to get people to think, while laughing. If you just hit people over the head with sad, horrible news, eventually they don’t want to hear it anymore.”
That certainly rings true for anyone equal parts fatigued and disturbed by what they find in their daily social media feeds.
At Friday’s show, the Breitbart piece will be interspersed with lighter acts, like their version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” about absurd Amazon or Etsy gifts “my true love [sent] to me.” They'll perform online reviews of the items, like a gallon of whole milk for sale on Amazon someone wrote a parody review of that “sounds like Blanche Dubois talking about family bringing home the milk,” says Jamula. Another gem will be an Amazon review of a UFO detector — in the voice of a trash-talking alien.
At the show’s close, they’ll include a call to action for the audience to donate to the likes of Planned Parenthood and ACLU.
If you go
Friday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
The People’s Improv Theatre
123 E. 24th St.
New York, New York