The Grawlix comedy show has been selling out the Avenue Theater since it launched (it runs the last Friday of every month), so we figured it was time to catch up with one of the founding members, Andrew Orvedahl to talk about the history the show and its future, including a brand new web series that's getting ready to launch this Friday with help from the Nix Brothers.
Westword: Can you start with a brief history of how the show started?
Andrew Orvedahl: Adam Cayton-Holland created a show long ago called Los Comicos Super Hilariosos at Old Curtis Street Tavern, and it slowly built up a following. We moved it to the Orange Cat gallery, and there it took off. After the Orange Cat closed down Adam decided to end Los Comicos and create a new show. We wanted to sort of step up the show in all areas. We moved to the Avenue Theater, which is a larger venue, and we put a lot more effort in the show. We have a rule to always perform new material at the shows, so our audience can come every month and hear something new. Plus, we always have at least one video sketch, and at least one live sketch.
So, it's you, Adam and Ben Roy as the core people?
It is now. We work really well together. Also, we're launching a new Grawlix web series this month. We're debuting the first two episodes at the show on the 28th. We're especially excited about these, and have sunk a ton of time into them.
Is it going to be a more linear experience than the videos you've done so far then? Like, with character development? Or still just a series of sketches?
Well it's basically mockumentary footage of us preparing for The Grawlix each month. But we sort of play these caricatures of ourselves. We try to make each episode a self-contained story, so you could watch any of them and be entertained, but if you watched them over time, there would be plot strands that continue. There are little jokes that are only jokes if you've seen some of the other episodes.
(Laughter) Indeed. I realized the other day it's basically The Office combined with 30 Rock, but I'm okay with that, those are both great comedies. Why steal from one show when you can take from two?
I assume all of you swap the writing duties for the video sketches? Or do you work as a team?
We each write individual episodes, but as a team we overhaul them. We've actually written a lot of episodes and it feels good to be planning really far ahead already. I think the downfall of a lot of web series is they start with a funny idea, but don't really plan that far ahead, so they fall apart quick. We wanted to make sure that these would maintain the comedy throughout.
How has the reception on Funny or Die been?
It has been really good, overall. I think some of the videos have slumped, but overall the ratings are good. We've had two videos featured on the homepage, which is super cool. We also had one recently featured on Nerdist, which is a huge honor.
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Is the web series going to be tied into FoD or somewhere else?
Yeah, it'll probably be hosted there. It's still up in the air. Ideally we'd love for it to be exclusive content on a site, in exchange for some money, but that's still in the works. It will be shown at the live show regardless, and then likely on Funny Or Die.