Bigger, Badder, ImprovMania

I would like to preface this blog post, by stating upfront, that I don’t really know anything about professional wrestling, WrestleMania, WWE/WWF, or any other bits of wrestling-related trivia. Now that that’s off my chest, and I’ve hopefully prevented misguiding any of you fine readers, this post can officially commence. The little I do know about professional wrestling, though, is a few of its more iconic characters, and that in some ways wrestling is a little bit like improv and sketch comedy. What do pro-wrestling, sketch, and improv have in common? It’s that their foundations all lie in storytelling, using clearly defined characters, raised stakes, and heightened emotions. While the best improv or sketch scenes might not be filled with dramatic chair shots and elbow drops (or maybe they are...), what makes those scenes run like a hijinks-filled WWE match is that they probably involve instances where the performers make bold character choices and filter their scene motivations and emotional reactions through their characters.

Because WrestleMania 32 took place in Arlington, Texas, last weekend, and because one of my awesome Ewing teammates made a wrestling themed poster for our show this past week, and also because my Facebook newsfeed in general seemed to have exploded with a bunch of wrestling posts, the topic has been on my mind. So, I thought what better way to combine my love of Dallas Comedy House (DCH) with this sudden inundation of pro-wrestling in the brain space than to determine which iconic pro-wrestlers some of my favorite DCH troupes embody.

If you want me to continue this blog post with my reimagining of DCH troupes as iconic wrestling characters, just gimme a “hell yeah!” (Or don’t because I’m going to do it anyway.)

Trish StrausTrish Stratus is Local Honey

Like the ladies of Local Honey, Trish Stratus is an all-around badass babe. She’s funny, she’s female empowering, and she’s got glutes muscles the size of basketballs that could easily destroy anybody who gets in her way. She’s also Canadian, which means that, like the gals in Local Honey, she’s generally easygoing and polite and would probably be down for nomming on some Tim Hortons.

Dude Love“Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dude Love is Age Appropriate

When two very different individuals come together to perform, sometimes both improv and wrestling magic can be created. Like the somewhat odd, yet endearing, tag-team of Stone Cold and Dude Love, Age Appropriate has just the right balance of fun-loving, party-time spirit and serious performance chops. Together the gents of Age Appropriate come together like yin and yang, kicking comedy butt. Also, lots of object work. Mind-blowing object work, that’s the bottom line, because Age Appropriate said so!

The RockThe Rock is Photobomb

Like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Photobomb, awarded “best troupe” at DCH, is the people’s champ. Charismatic, full of fun catchphrases, and literally the only dude to pull off a complete chains-on-turtleneck-with-a-fanny-pack-on-mom-jeans ensemble, The Rock has won over the hearts and minds of many a WWE fan. With brains, beauty, and custom t-shirts, it’s also easy to see how Photobomb has won over the hearts and minds of DCH fans.

Jericho ShowJeri-Show is David & Terry

Full of quick wit, spontaneity, animated performances, vibrant reactions, and lots of shenanigans, David & Terry are much like the tag team of Chris Jericho and Big Show. When paired in the ring, Jericho and Show just seemed to click. Always supportive and able to deliver some great comedic punches, David & Terry click, too. They’re just a couple of cool dudes who can put on an equally cool show. They’re awesome. DCH has mad love for David & Terry. In some ways, DCH... is...David & Terry!

Hulk HoganHulk Hogan is Cupcake

Just as Hulk Hogan was one of the first wrestlers I ever learned about (and not just because he had a brief VH1 reality show, although that helped), Cupcake was one of the first troupes I watched/learned about at DCH. Hogan is an American classic—a man with a feather boa and a mustache as big and strong as his personality. Cupcake too is full of strong personalities. For both Hulkamania and Cupcakeamania, a central feature involves making and adhering to bold character choices. I've yet to see a Cupcake show where the character choices weren't bold and zesty like evenly coated nacho cheese Doritos. In addition, like the Hulkster, the members of cupcake would probably all look fabulous wearing various shades of red and yellow.

Macho Man Randy Savage“Macho Man” Randy Savage is On-Time Delivery

If I had to sum up “Macho Man” Randy Savage in one word, I would say Slim Jim. If I was allowed to use a few other words in my summarization, I would include charismatic, fun, high energy, consistently entertaining, a not-so-good rap album, and also Slim Jim. Most of these words could easily be applied to a description of DCH troupe On-Time Delivery. On-Time Delivery, like the late great Macho Man, seems to have it all: Brilliant stage presence, unique points of view, beef-stick endorsement abilities, and a sick set of performance skillz. Ohhh yeahhh!

I would keep going, but that’s all the wrestlers and catchphrases I know.

Feel free to post your thoughts, WWE trivia, or your own reimagining’s of DCH troupes as pro-wrestlers in the comments below.

Lauren Levine is currently a Level 4 student at DCH. When she is not trying to come up with witty things for this blog, she is a freelance writer and editor, an amateur photographer, a Zumba-enthusiast, a dog lover, and an 80s movie nerd. In addition, she enjoys all things Muppet-related, the smell after a rainstorm, and people with soft hands.

Troupe Talk: Cupcake

Cupcake Troupe talk is back this week and in celebration of spring, Mother's Day, and baked goods (because we should always celebrate baked goods), Cupcake has joined me for some sweet talk about improvising, the new Dallas Comedy House (DCH) and each other.

Thank you for bringing me this basket of gifts as a token of thanks for interviewing you! Why don’t you tell our readers what each of you gave me? Christie: Everyone brought you cupcakes, so I brought you something to wash them down with. CUPCAKE MILKSHAKES!! Maggie: I gave you the cupcake that Mariam is eating in the next question…she just couldn’t stop herself. Nick: There is a giant cupcake beside the basket. When you cut it to finally eat it, you find my charred remains inside. I wanted to surprise you by popping out of the giant cupcake, but I don’t know how to bake and put myself in the cupcake before the baking process rather than after. Tommy: I helped Nick bake the giant cupcake for you, thinking it was from us both. Mariam: I brought you a fried chicken cupcake to break up the monotony of all the sweet and/or Nick’s-ashes-flavored cupcakes.

Pretend you are all sitting in a circle. Look to the person to the left of you and tell me what flavor cupcake they would be and why. Christie: Maggie is a cupcake as big and bright as the sun! She has rainbow icing and unicorn sprinkles, because she is happiness in a giant baked good! Maggie: Mariam would probably be this cupcake. It’s a cupcake that has been build to look like a panda. That’s because Mariam is beautiful—just like a panda cupcake. Mariam: Nick’s cupcake would taste like despair and sadness, with a hint of chocolate. And it would have a khaki short wrapper around it. Nick: Tommy would probably be a pizza cupcake. Cheese and pepperoni on top of garlic bread. Then a tiny hot dog to top it all off, because Tommy always has his party shorts on, but he can take care of business as well. Tommy: Christie would be a love cupcake. With tiny pig filling and puppy icing.

Now that you’ve defined your individual cupcake flavors, let’s talk about Cupcake as a whole! How did you guys meet? How long have you been together? Christie: I’m really bad at math, but I’m really awesome at friendship. This made for the perfect troupe! We’ve been performing for over two years, but we’ve been friends for a lifetime. *Someone check my math on that.* Maggie: Much like *NSYNC, Cupcake was put together to dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. Though we got second place to a bunch of cousins, we still made beautiful music. We’ve been performing ever since. And, apparently, math. Mariam: I received an anonymous invitation to join a new secret-agent, mathematically-constructed, *NSYNC-inspired, bulletproof improv troupe. I blindly accepted. The purpose of said troupe? To dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. We got second place. YOU DO THE MATH. Nick: Tommy and Christie used math equations and science to formulate the most perfect complimentary improv troupe that would dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. Even with math on our side, we came in second. BUT ONLY BY TWO VOTES. Tommy: Christie and I created the perfect plan to come in second in the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch and create a famous and timeless rivalry that would never be rivaled by other fabled rivalries.

Why do you dig improvising? Christie: There’s nothing better than making people laugh. Unless you’re getting to do that with your best friends, WHICH I AM. Maggie: It’s fun to spend 30 minutes not thinking—just reacting and having fun with friends. Mariam: I can let go and be stupid and do crazy things with people who are funny and smart and make me laugh and be a better person. Nick: Because I crave instant gratification and approval. Tommy: It's the next best thing to playing with your friends as a little kid. It's like the fountain of youth, but you still age and die.

So I hear DCH moved to a new building. What’s your favorite thing about the new DCH? Christie: Tell Shiloh you want The Christie—it’s a shot of Crown with a Miller Lite. It’s not on those beautiful chalk boards above the bar...yet. But seriously, those menu boards are crazy awesome!! Maggie: I like the wood on the walls. IT’S CRAZY BECAUSE IT USED TO BE A FLOOR! Mariam: DAT SICK OUTDOOR AREA THO. It’s like you’re one with nature, outside, in the night air. Nick: The secret ghost room above the bar that they had to seal off, because of the terrible thing that happened there years ago that still haunts the room to this day. Tommy: TLB MANDIP

Before you go, say goodbye to our readers by whispering a famous farewell lyric or quote to them: Maggie: “I just wanna dance with somebody.” - WHADOLF HILSTON Mariam: “I wanna feel the heat with somebody.” - Adolf Hitler (does he know how to whisper?) Nick: “I do not see why man should not be as cruel as nature.” - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact) Tommy: "Don't go chasing waterfalls" - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact) Christie: “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact)

Cupcake performs at DCH on May 16 (grand-opening weekend!), May 22, and June 25.

Tori Oman is a level four student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.