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Arts & Culture » Comedy Critic's Choice

Experimental collective Kill All Comedy now experimenting at the Hideout

The prolific artists have signed on for a monthly gig.


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Kill All Comedy's Joey Dundale made a good observation last week: the Wicker Park and Bucktown areas are "strangely devoid" of sketch comedy, and particularly the experimental kind that's his collective's specialty. With a new monthly show at the Hideout, Kill All hopes to fill the void—with fake blood, real dildos, etc. In other words, Dundale joked in an e-mail, "ART."

Kill All and its performers have their fingers in many creative pots: they make genuinely funny videos (and soon monthly video "mixtapes"), record weekly podcasts, they have a blog, and they're prepping for a September tour of the Pacific Northwest; the troupe is currently on hiatus from its usual spot, Andersonville's Upstairs Gallery. Their work is absurdist, no doubt, but how exactly are they "experimental"? What does "experimental" even mean?

"'Experimental,' in comedy especially, can be a hard word to pin down," Dundale admits. "I think Stephanie [Cook, Kill All mastermind] and I have always been drawn to experimental art, whether it be comedy, movies, music. . . . In our own comedy we'd always tried to push comedy as far as it can go, and hoped the things we were doing were things different from what was being performed at the other theaters around town."

"It's just about doing what is funny, and what comes as naturally funny to people," Cook adds. She says they'll bring their funniest sketches to the Hideout. And funny's what matters most.

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