There are two qualities that make for a great improv troupe: A fanatical commitment to support one’s teammates and a robust sense of play. Add in prodigious amounts of comfortability with each other, great heads of hair, and the title of “King of the Mountain,” and you’ve got yourself Coiffelganger. Coiffelganger (Scriven Bernard, Danny Neely, Patrick Hennessy, Cody Hofmockel, and Connor Posey) is full of big coifs and even bigger personalities. When it comes to successful improv, these five will tell you that it’s all about the comradery, the fun, and making those moments where everything seems to magically click on stage...also some pre-show got-your-front dick taps help, too.
Congrats on your reign as King of the Mountain, Coiffelganger! First, how did you guys get together?
Connor: Firstly, thank you. Secondly, I don't quite recall how this group came to be. I was walking around Deep Ellum one lovely evening, when all of the sudden I felt a blunt object hit the back of my head. I awoke in the back of an unmarked van in a vat of Billy Jealousy Hair Styling Putty flanked by Danny, Scriven, Patrick and Cody. We scheduled our first practice then and there. Cody: Um...we met...here... Danny: OK, I’ll take the reins then. I think we all met at the jams mostly. That’s how we got to know each other certainly. The first time I met Scriven was at a jam. And I was in a scene with Pat, and he fake slapped me. Then I told him to real slap me after that scene. Cody: I just feel most comfortable talking to people who look like me. Patrick: I met Scriven, the first time, walking down the street outside of DCH, and I think we both started talking about energy drinks. That was just like a passing meeting, though. But later on, a Level 1 student confused me and Scriven for each other, and I just went with it. That’s actually the origin of our name. Scriven: Our hairstyles always got confused for each other, and we always joked about it. So, we picked other people with similar hairstyles and we all had fun playing together. Danny: I did have a similar hairstyle, but I think I just got a pity invite because I wasn’t in any troupes at the time. Cody: Dany was totally a pity move. We felt bad for him, seeing him struggle as a new person. He’s definitely our weakest member. Scriven: But, he’s also our richest. Patrick: In friendship.
Could you briefly describe how one could achieve the "coif" look?
Connor: Frankly, I think I have the seediest hairstyle in the group, so I'm not the best person to give coif advice. I put product in my hair, and then I hang my head out the window on the way to work. Bam. Scriven: Easy, I just stand behind a unicorn and let it shit rainbows in my hair. And just poof, done! Danny: I wash my hair every day. Sometimes, I’ll just let my natural grease build up over the course of a day. Cody: I’d have to disagree with Danny on that because I don’t think one day is enough to let your natural greases build up. I’m actually fond of the no-poo movement. Sometimes, I’ll just wash with conditioner in order to keep my hair’s natural oils, and then I can just basically use my hands for the coif. I’m a pretty greasy guy. Patrick: I’m not...I think mine always looks better on the second day. Because it gets kind of roughed up a little bit and then you kind of hand shape it back into place. Cody: How do I achieve the coif? I would say with my hands.
Tell us a little about Coiffelganger’s performance style. What form do you follow?
Connor: What the hell is a form? But no, seriously, we don't have a set form. Our recently adopted coach, the brilliant David Allison, told us that for a show as loosely structured as ours, we should think of it as having three beats over the course of the show. I thought that was apt advice. So something like a montage with three beats and lots of call-backs and world-building and such. Danny: We don’t have a format, but we definitely have a style. We’re like the Golden State Warriors of improv. Cody: Fun. Very up tempo, and we have a lot of energy. Danny is like Draymond Green because he’s always like throwing out the assist and can play any part. Scriven: I’m like a sports reference because not everyone gets me. Patrick: We come out strong and we don’t let it drop, from beginning to end. It’s just like in your face. We also like to f*ck with each other. We take pimping each other out to the next level. Scriven: I think our high career point is going to be when we accidentally kill one another on stage and everyone just goes with it. And then we chop the body up together and burn it. Cody: Basically we go hard every night til someone dies. No blood, no fun! Patrick: I would like to say while we’re on the note of “no blood, no fun!” that whenever I was doing my Igor character the other night, I was actually hitting my head on the floor and punching myself. Cody: So, I think if you had to describe our style in a single sentence it would be: Actually hitting our head on the floor.
Since Coiffelganger is equal parts hair and improv, what hair-do does each of your troupe mates embody and why?
Cody: I would say Scriven is someone’s hair right after they stick their finger in an electrical socket. Connor: Scriven is whatever hairstyle Christopher Lloyd has because he has a penchant for playing characters with insane ideas and dubious motivations. Cody is the long, flowing mane of Kenny G because of his emotional range. He can keep a straight face for days. Patrick: Cody is the baby doll of the group, and whenever I think of baby doll hair, I think of the pigtails on that doll, that when you cut it, it goes back into the head and then you can pull it back out and cut it again. Cody: What the f*ck?! Patrick: Have you not seen that doll before? Cody: I mean no. Patrick: So, Cody is retractable pigtails on a doll. Scriven: Because he’s also plastic and lives in a box. Connor: Danny is the bowl cut because he has this lovely, quintessentially American voice that summons images of Tom Sawyer painting a fence, or that Leave It to Beaver kid trying to understand divorce. Patrick: Danny would be Clark Kent hair. Cody: Or slicked back like a greaser because he’s so damn cool all the time. Danny: I also robbed a convenience store with an unloaded gun and got shot by the cops. Ponyboy went to the church, and it caught on fire, and Johnny died. Connor: Patrick is an afro, because he makes crazy, bold choices on stage, and takes scenes in fun, unpredictable directions. Cody: I would say Patrick is like half-shaved on one side and half long. Patrick: So, Skrillex? Cody: Because he can be like...f*ckin’ two-faced. No, because I think Patrick can be straight or wild and crazy depending on what side you’re getting. Scriven: He’s grounded and absurd. Cody: Just like Skrillex. Scriven: Connor is a rat tail. Danny: He’s kinda dirty but he reminds you of your childhood. Patrick: Whenever I first met Connor, he just came off as this burly, grouchy mountain-man type person. Cody: I think Connor would be chest hair. Scriven: Just bald with a lot of chest hair. Patrick: A rat tail made out of chest hair.
What qualities does it take for a troupe to be crowned King of the Mountain?
Scriven: Hair. Patrick: Hair. Danny: Hair. Cody: Good hair. Fun. Scriven: Inviting everyone on Facebook. Connor: Depends. Sometimes the winner is whoever brings the most friends to the show. But, like any other show, the troupe who has the most fun on stage is going to be the most fun to watch. So if you're not having fun...rethink your life. When you get off stage, you can go back to being miserable.
Kings of Coiffelganger, it's time to pull out your improvised/pantomimed royal proclamations and tell us one of your kingly decrees.
King Danny: Play without fear and all your dreams will come true. King Patrick: Hereforth and henceforth everyone shall commit 110 percent to everything they do in every scene at Dallas Comedy House. King Cody: There’s nothing five white men can’t do. Wait, no, scratch that from the record, please. ...I like, play without fear. I’ll just jump on that. Also, free nachos for the entire kingdom! King Scriven: Prithee sir, respond thyself honestly. King Connor: When in doubt, open a scene by staring at your scene partners’ perfectly maintained, delicious hair.
Lauren Levine is currently a Level 3 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.