DCH Reimagined: Disney Edition

Hello, DCH blogosphere homies! It has been a really long time, and I’ve missed you all terribly. Some of you probably thought I fell off the face of the Earth, since I haven’t posted anything on here in what feels like an eternity. But I have good news, in the words of Mushu from Mulan: I LIIIIIVE!!! I am indeed alive, kickin’, and still a part of Earth, at least to the best of my knowledge. Anyway, speaking of Mushu and Mulan and Disney animation, I decided to commence my return to the DCH blog squad with another exciting edition of DCH Reimagined. Huzzah! This week, I’ll determine what Disney film some of our favorite DCH troupes embody. You’re welcome.

Mirror, Mirror I must insist, let’s find out which troupes made this list...

Impractical Magic = Hocus Pocus

hocuspocusFeisty and full of snark, the ladies that comprise Impractical Magic are representative of the beloved 1993 Halloween classic, which showcased starring performances from Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Like the film Hocus Pocus (and all great Disney flicks tbh), Impractical Magic shows often teach audiences valuable life lessons, such as the fact that boys can be easily distracted by a pair of “yabos,” virgins should never light mysterious candles with black flames, and one is never too cool for Halloween. Full of sass and badassery, the high energy the ladies of Impractical Magic bring to each performance rivals that of the Sanderson Sisters themselves and has a way of “putting a spell on you!” To top it off, with “magic” right in the troupe name, it’s only fitting that these gals are represented by a movie about witches. *Side note: this troupe may or may not actually try to steal your child’s soul, so leave your kids at home when seeing their show.

Franzia = Oliver & Company

oliverFranzia is a troupe that leaves us ordinary folk wishing that some of their innate coolness would please rub off onto us. They’re a bunch of comedy BAMFs, who don’t care about formats or rules; they’re just down to create memorable scenes with bold characters, causing audiences to laugh til they pee. If there’s a Disney film with an almost equal no-f---s-given attitude, it’s without a doubt Oliver & Company. It may be tad underrated, but it’s a classic none the less, and furthermore its coolness is undeniable. Three words: Billy Motherf---in’ Joel! Disney couldn’t get any smoother with a cast that starred the Piano Man himself, as well as friggin’ Dom DeLuise, Cheech Marin, and Bette Midler, #blessup. Also, you haven’t experienced cool until you’ve found yourself wearing a sausage scarf and badass Ray Bans, parading down 5th Ave with your own dog posse...I assume the members of Franzia have probably had parallel experiences.

The Monthly Junk = Fox & the Hound

foxandthehoundOK, I know what you’re thinking here: “Why would you choose like the saddest, most tragic Disney film ever to represent the two most cheerful, positive ladies at DCH?” I’m not suggesting that a Monthly Junk show will make you openly weep and ponder the nature of social conditioning and human behavior (although, I’m not NOT suggesting that either). At the core of this Disney film is a story about friendship, and at the core of Monthly Junk is a friendship that gives these gals their special onstage chemistry. It’s a friendship that transcends the stage and infuses everything these two do together. I mean, “Best of Friends” is the song that everyone thinks of when they hear Fox and the Hound, it also happens to be the song that comes to mind when I think of The Monthly Junk, though a version of the song that’s far less sad and much more upbeat...maybe an EDM remix with a sick drop (Does that exist? I need to know. The world needs to know!). Two ladies, who are the best of friends, making us laugh and cry (tears of joy of course) and laugh some more.

Glistlefoot = Peter Pan

peterpanA bunch of lost boys (and of course the incredible, fierce lost girl Darcy Armstrong), who can’t be tamed and like to get weird and wild on stage, like a rambunctious gang of unsupervised kiddos in a magical faraway land where grown-ups don’t exist and pirates and mermaids and fairies roam free, yeah, that pretty much sums up a Glistlefoot show. Thus, Glistlefoot is Peter Pan. This former Ewing troupe always seems to put on a hilarious, surreal set, often venturing into whimsical and absurd territory. I’ve heard that the recipe for magical flight, as well as a strong improv game, includes faith, trust, and a little Glistlefoot dust...not sure of the exact ratios/measurements on that, though; will have to confirm and get back to you.

Boink Bros = A Goofy Movie

goofymovieThere were many reasons why I chose 1995’s A Goofy Movie as representative of Boink Bros, but mainly because of that one scene where Pauley Shore’s character eats straight up cheese whiz right out of the can. He piles the cheese on his hand, proclaiming it the Leaning Tower of Cheeza (does anyone else remember that?!)...for some reason, I just associate that with the shenanigans and boinkenings of Boink Bros. A Goofy Movie (which, arguably, along with Encino Man may have been the height of P. Shore’s career) featured the voice of Pauley Shore. And any movie that features simply the voice of Pauley Shore, rather than the whole live human Pauley Shore, is dope in my book. Boink Bros are also dope.  Two dope dudes, doin’ dope improv. That’s a lot of dopeness.

Empty Inside = Muppet Treasure Island

muppettiBecause puppets. Of the Disney movies involving puppetry, Muppet Treasure Island is by far the best. Why? Because Tim Curry, pirates, hilarious jokes, and all the yo-ho-ho and a bottle of fun. It’s a Muppet masterpiece. A humor extravaganza. I highly recommend it. Of the DCH troupes that involve puppetry, Empty Inside is by far the best. I highly recommend these humans and their puppet babies as well.


Clover = The Aristocats

aristocatsBecause “everybody wants to be a cat.”

Nuff said!

(Click here to see why Clover are like a bunch of kitties)

Feel free to post your suggestions for other editions of DCH Reimagined in the comments below. Until next time, peace out girl scouts!

Lauren Levine is a DCH graduate. 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.

How Do You Pick the Right Show Based Off Name Alone?

Photobomb My co-workers know that I spend a lot of time at Dallas Comedy House watching great comedy. They will ask me, “What show you seeing tonight?” And I will respond by saying Roadside Couch, .f.a.c.e., or Duck Duck Pants. Most people just nod and say, “Cool,” even though those words mean nothing to them but mean everything to me.   

When I encourage them to attend, they usually say, “That sounds fun, which show should I attend?" I will direct them to and tell them to pick. That’s when the discussions start in—“Photobomb, do I need to bring a camera” or “Age appropriate, can I bring my kids?”

Which gets me back to the question: How do you pick the right show based off name alone? My advice is always go with a name that intrigues you. The first time I saw the name Franzia appearing on a poster, I knew I had to go. Because I love Fanzia and if I could watch a show with people who obviously share my desire to drink $7 gallon of wine, I am in. Same goes for Local Honey (which I try to purchase all the time), Manick (which took me two years to realize that was a combination of Amanda and Nick), and the 1995 Chicago Bulls. Side note on that one, when I first heard the 1995 Bulls were performing, I went to my closet and broke out my Luc Longley autographed Fosters can with the hope that he would drink the 19-year-old beer with me. Boy was I let down.

Be bold, pick a name, see a show. You will not be let down.

Ghost Watcher is a regular, DCH audience member.

(Image: Jason Hensel)

Troupe Talk: Franzia

Franzia Today is a big day. It’s a day when stereotypes break free from their mold. It’s a day when something usually thought of as nothing more than a cheap mind number for boozy lushes gets to step up as something bigger. Today is a day when we can raise our glasses, fill it with a generous helping of our favorite boxed wine, and know that that wine has a bigger purpose. Because today is the day that Troupe Talk talks to Franzia, one of DCH’s very own funny foursomes (individual people that make up a group of four...not boxed wine induced least not most of the time).

Tell us all the reasons you are like a fine, box of Franzia wine.

With us, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Franzia, the box of wine, is tag lined as the “the world’s most popular wine.” What would Franzia, the improv troupe, be tag lined with?

“So so good, so so cheap.”

What makes Franzia unique or different from other improv troupes?

We rely on feeling rather than format. When it “feels like it’s time,” we start the call back crescendo.

Tell us about your most memorable Franzia scene or show.

In the Chicago Improv Festival, we had an amazing show. We had a funeral scene for a horse that was very effective. According to Tommy, the horse had helped him quit smoking. After the show, some Chi-folk said, “If that’s what you guys are doing in Dallas, keep it up.” We felt proud.

Raise your pantomimed improv glass of Franzia and make a toast to each other.

Singing loudly, “Nobody does it beetterrrr, makes me feel sad for the reeeest. Nobody does it haaalf as good as you….baby, you’re the beeeeeessttt.”

Franzia performs at the Dallas Comedy House on October 3 and October 24.

Tori Oman is a Dallas Comedy House graduate.

So Says the Comedian

question marksWelcome to  “So Says the Comedian,” where your burning, non-comedy questions are answered by a comedian from the halls of Dallas Comedy House (DCH). A new comedian will answer questions every week, and you can have yours answered by submitting them to This week’s questions are answered by resident bass-playing bad ass Laurie Reaves Barnett. She's in the troupe Franzia, who will perform Friday, October 17, with Roadside Couch. Q: Best weapon in a fight if I don't want to murder someone? -- D. Allison, Dallas, TX A: Your mom.

Q: Sleep with, marry, kill: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix. -- Rob H., Dallas, TX A: This is so strange, because only one of them is alive. But let’s pretend for the time being it’s 1969.

I would kill Vaughn (I know this makes many people want to kill ME) but “Pride and Joy”...eesh. Also, he would have been 15 in 1969, and teens are awful.

I would sleep with Jimmy Page and make "Stairway To Heaven" jokes the whole time. This may be confusing to him in 1969 since "Stairway to Heaven" was recorded in 1970. But I’m a trailblazer.

I would marry Jimi Hendrix, because I was almost named James Hendricks Reaves if I were a boy. It would make a cute story to tell all our friends, but we’d have to tell the story quickly in 1969 since he’s about to die in a year.

Q: What common fashion choice that people make annoys you the most? -- D. Allison, Dallas, TX A: Pants. No need for those suckers.

Q. If people were actually food, what would you do? -- C. Stewart, Dallas TX A: I would eat the cute ones first.

Q: Chili season is around the corner. Beans/no beans? And what about if you're entertaining? Do you cater for the bean or no bean eater? -- Allison, Waco, TX A: I like beans. I do. So, I would already have beans up in this mess. But I cater to no one.

Q: Best location for a fight? -- D. Allison, Dallas, TX A: Any-damn-where.

Q: If you could be anything for your birthday, what would you be? -- Bob, Piedmont, ND A: 21.

Q: What is your opinion on Ziploc sandwich baggies only putting male-dominated sports actions/balls on their sandwich baggies? Is this sexist? Or should girls just play soccer only from now on? -- Concerned non-feminist, Dallas, TX A: I feel like balls are for everyone. I don’t think men object to women playing with their action balls. I think girls should play with whatever balls they want.

The sandwich bag is only sexist if the sandwich put in the bag was made from a librarian.

Q: One skill that you would like to have? -- D. Allison, Dallas, TX A: Anger management.

Q: Are you ever too old to like a popular rock band? For instance, if my dad went to a Black Keys concert would that be weird? -- Glenn, Dallas, TX A: Depends on the band I guess. If your dad goes to see the Black Keys, that seems alright. If your dad went to see One Direction alone it might be suspect.

Q: Best post-fight one-liner you've ever heard in real life? -- D. Allison, Dallas, TX A: “It’s just business, dude." True story.

Please submit your questions to

(photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc)

Comedy Centerfold: Tommy Lee Brown

Each week, or maybe every other week if we’re lazy, we’ll feature a Dallas Comedy House performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked. If you’d like to volunteer to be a centerfold before we come for you, email us and let us know. The only requirement is that we need a full-length, CLOTHED, photo of yourself for, you know, the centerfold part. Tommy Lee BrownThis edition of Comedy Centerfold features one Tommy Lee Brown, a noted raconteur who's fond of the finer things in life. Very few people know this, but The Most Interesting Man in the World has only one picture up in his bedroom for inspiration. It's of Tommy Lee Brown (the one used here). If you've ever met Tommy, you know what it's like to be touched by an angel. If you haven't met Tommy yet, you can catch him performing with the troupe Franzia tonight, December 7, at 10:30 p.m., and on December 15 at 10:30 p.m.

Hometown? Born and raised in Dallas, Texas! (You can’t tell but that sentence is heavily accented with serious Texan drawl.) I spent my early years on the streets of Pleasant Grove and then grew up in Mesquite representing for that Edgemont Park hood.

Guilty Pleasures? Candy Corn, Grey’s Anatomy, Flipping Out (the TV show), Jersey Shore, Zingers (R.I.P.) and improvising song and dance.

Ambitions? I’d like to work my way from manager of FC Dallas to manager of Manchester United, while also leading some national teams to global dominance on my FIFA13 manager career (PS3). I’d like to go with my No. 1 Boo to China, India, and Brazil. I’d also like to perfect the art of making baklava. Also, I’d like to stack cash to the max in some high yield accounts.

Best Concert? Tool in Fort Worth.

Favorite Book? My favorite author is Stephen King, and my favorite books by him are The Dark Tower series and It. Non-Stephen King favorites include The Alchemist, Ismael, and Kitchen Confidential.

Favorite Movie? Hmmm, we’ll say Adaptation. I just like so much about it. The writing, the satire, the performances – it’s good times.

Favorite TV Show? Six Feet Under, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Mr. Show with Bob and David.

Pets? I have 4 pets, not counting the pack stray cats that sleep and make love on my patio. I have three dogs and one cat. (Editors note: Click on images to see them full sized.)

Okay is a 10-year-old miniature dachshund, she likes to bark at people.






Bitty is a four-year-old homeless catfish, he likes to sit alone, in the dark, on the bathmat.






Buckner is a 10-year-old Boston Terrier, his favorite hobby is squirrel staring.






Cleo is an 11-year-old cat, she likes to wail at the top of her lungs from about 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. every night. I’m pretty sure she has a death wish. I have no idea how many lives she has left.






Foods I Crave? Popcorn with sliced jalapenos in it. Hot fudge sundaes – NO NUTS. Pecan Pie. Gin.

People I Admire? Anthony Bourdain – he has the Best Job! Stephen King – he has the Best Job! Will Wright and Jeff Braun, co-founders of Maxis the video game developer that brought you SimAnt.

Dream Role? Voice Acting in a Grand Theft Auto game would be pretty sweet. Or playing any of the people I admire in their biopic (which I wrote and will direct).

Favorite Song to Sing? This is a tie between singing “Twist and Shout” (but I change "shake it up, baby" to ‘"shaking a baby") and Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli.”

Good First Date Idea? On a first date, I recommend driving up to lookout hill and parking so that you can see the entire city. Be sure to turn the radio off. You don’t want any news bulletins to scare your date into not putting out. At this point I recommend singing a classic song, but making up your own lyrics. Try to work your name or her name into the song. Ignore any strange sounds coming from the night. If your date can’t focus and demands for you to drive her home, relent. No means "not this time." If you are lucky, you find a sweet hand hook hanging from one or more of your car doors.

Protip: You know a date is going well if you can’t find your car and you have to walk all over town or  several parking garages looking for it.

Comedy Centerfold: Nikki Gasparo

Each week, or maybe every other week if we're lazy, we'll feature a Dallas Comedy House performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked. If you'd like to volunteer to be a centerfold before we come for you, email us and let us know. The only requirement is that we need a full-length, CLOTHED, photo of yourself for, you know, the centerfold part. Nikki GasparoThis week: Nikki Gasparo, who performs with Franzia, Gangs of Recess, and Local Honey. And ask her about "weiner man" the next time you see her.

Hometown?  Las Vegas, Nevada.

Guilty Pleasures? Junk food and reality tv, especially when combined.

Ambitions? To be the first female host on radio 1310 the Ticket.

Best concert? In 8th grade, I saw Fishbone who opened for the Beastie Boys. So bad-ass.

Favorite Book? Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. It spoke to me.

Favorite Movie? Say Anything or Before Sunrise or About Schmidt. The end of About Schmidt is perfect.

Favorite TV Show? The Simpsons.

Pets? At the moment, I have two useless cats but I did have a dog named Walter who stole my heart. He's dead now.

Foods I crave? Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, un-toasted.

People I admire? Veterans.

Dream Role? I think they should do a Broadway musical of Natural Born Killers, because I would play Mallory like a bawss. You know you would pay to see that.

Favorite Song to Sing? "Wiener Man." If you ever run into me, ask me to sing it for you.

Good first date idea? I was told that a gun range is a fun place to take a date.