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GayCo. and Schadenfreude Want You To Know "This Country's F$cked"

By Marcus Gilmer in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 16, 2008 7:30PM

Local sketch comedy troupes GayCo and Schadenfreude are teaming up for a new political comedy show, This Country's F$cked. The show, done in conjunction with Crossroads Funds, will feature plenty of the comedy you've come to enjoy from these two fine troupes as well as appearances by other local performers including: Bassprov, Susan Messing, Ken Barnard, Mike and Duane, Blue Ribbon Glee Club, Mark Bazer, Jet & Holly, Matthew Hollis and the Power of Cheer, Claudia Wallace and Yuri Lane. The show will play tribute to the carnival sideshow that has been the 2008 Elections season and will feature plenty of stand-up, sketches, music, and maybe some unicorn sex (if you're lucky). The show hits the Lakeshore Theater for four exclusive shows over the next two Saturday nights (8 p.m. and 11 p.m. each night). There'll be an after-party featuring DJ Jesse De La Pena after the final show of the run (11 p.m. on the 25th).

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We caught up with Schadenfreude's Justin Kaufmann, who answered a few questions for us about the upcoming shows.

Chicagoist: How did the idea to do this come about?
Justin Kaufmann:
Schad's never really done a bona fide election special. We did some work when we had our radio show on WBEZ a few years back, but nothing on stage. Crossroads Fund and GaycCo came to us with the idea of doing big shows together. We've worked with them before and we know them well so this was a no-brainer. Some of our best friends are gay. So we broadened it even more to create a festival-type show that brings the best alternative political comedy to Chicago. It's surprising to me that this isn't done with more regularity (political comedy festivals). And we didn't want the show to be song/dance Capitol Steps pun bullshit. We wanted it to be honest and the honest to god's truth is that the country is fucked.

C: Give us a little insight as to what the show will be like.
The show will be a variety show with some great Chicago comics doing purely political material. We have dressed up the lobby to be like a political convention and we have recruited about 30+ extras to help us with little comedy bits. For instance, we have an older gentleman who will be hanging out in front of the Men's bathroom, waiting for you to go in. When you go in, he'll rush into the neighboring stall and try to initiate sex with hand gestures and taps. You know, like a politician would. We also will have protesters and riot cops with buttless chaps. Plus (in all seriousness), we have a bunch of local politicians in the show, including Barack Obama on tape. Yep, he did a bit for us on our radio show and we are bringing it to the stage. Did I mention there are probably about 7,000 bits in this show? I can give away these bits cause we have so much good shit!

C: Is Sarah Palin going to figure in to the show?
No Sarah Palin jokes. Wait, there's an abstinence Alaska joke. And we have a cut-out of Laura Croft that you can put your face in for picture taking. We wanted to go with a naked woman cut-out and say "Get your Picture with Palin!" But it was shot down somewhere down the line for being sexist. What's wrong with being sexy?

C: Will the show change at all from performance to performance?
Yes, each show will be different. Different guests, different bits. Most of the meat will stay the same. But we have a few bits specifically for each show. On the 25th, we are having an after-party with DJ Jesse De La Pena spinning. That's a real coup.

C: Is the show going to be bipartisan?
Well, the show is in Chicago, in the heart of Boystown. So I think it'll be pretty objective.

C: What's been the thing about this election cycle you've most enjoyed?
I love that Chicago has a major role in this election. Our Senator is running for Prez and it's awesome to watch the local politicians puff out their chests like peacocks cause they kind of know the guy. And I love watching them all jockey for possible cabinet positions or plumb jobs in the Obama administration. And Bill Ayers. That's hilarious that Bill Ayers is the "terrorist." Man, this country is indeed fucked.

Saturday, October 18 and October 25, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway Chicago, IL, $20 via LST