On November 6th, the third annual Brouhaha! Comedy Show will take place at Vintage Villains in Danville with an all-female line-up. After talking to Brouhaha! host Ripper the Clown, there is no doubt that this show will be the post-Halloween pick-me-up that everyone needs to see. Tickets are available in advance at Vintage Villains for $8 and $10 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Smile Politely: So tell me about Brouhaha 3.
Ripper the Clown: Well we’re returning to Vintage Villains on November 6th and as you know, it’s going to be an all female roster with me hosting as Ripper the Clown and because every night is Halloween for Ripper the Clown, we’re doing an all after-Halloween Halloween party. Actually, it will be three years ago tomorrow that Ripper the Clown was born.
SP: Well happy birthday!
Ripper: Thank you! It was then that he was born in the physical state – you know, from my fiction books. He was in my fiction books at first and then in Halloween 2012, that was when he debuted on stage. For me, it was going to be a one-night deal on Halloween because I figured I could never go out on any other night dressed up this way, and I figured the only other time to perform comedy as this character would be on Halloween and literally, within fifteen seconds on stage, I knew that I wanted to do it again, so that’s kind of interesting to think about in retrospect. But back to the show –the venue, Vintage Villains, it’s the absolute best venue in East Central Illinois for music and comedy, they have so many national bands come through there and they all say the same thing; that it’s the absolute coolest places that they’ve performed.
SP: What is it that makes it such a great place to perform?
Ripper: Well, Vintage Villains is a Pop-Culture store. It’s kind of shaped like an upside-down U, and you enter the store and they have everything in there from bottom to ceiling — it’s amazing. Books, video games, new and old video games, comic books, action figures, DVDS; it’s just action-packed from top to bottom. So when you go to the back of the store, on the right hand side, at the top of the U, you can go in at the other side of the store, which is actually their venue. So they have classic video games and other games that you can play for free during the show, and then they have the stage upfront.
SP: Well that sounds like a fantastic venue. Regarding the line-up, which sounds awesome, is there anyone in particular that you’re excited to perform with?
Ripper: I’ve actually been asked that before and it’s very hard when I’m asked that – everyone brings a diverse aspect to the crowd. And I have been asked that many times, but everyone in the lineup brings such individuality to the stage. When I do a show, I try to find that mix and bring people in that do different things but at the same time will entertain the audience. A lot of times you go to comedy shows and it seems like the same five or six people on stage doing the same stuff and you miss the variation. So I try to stay away from that but all of them are very talented performers.
SP: Could you tell me a little bit about the performers for Brouhaha 3?
Ripper: Well, Pamela Adam (right); this is actually her official comedy debut. Back in June I did a variety show, Pop Goes the Culture, where I had fifteen performers and they had about six minutes each and the audience could get rid of them if they didn’t like them. Pamela I believe was the first person in the first set of performers who actually survived. I thought Pamela was going to sing and she actually started out doing comedy. The audience really loved her and at the end of the night she tied for fourth place so I brought her on for the show.
As for Charlie Hester (pictured below)— I absolutely love working with Charlie — I’ve done so many shows with her over the past three years. The audience absolutely loves Charlie and she has had lots of success in her comedy routines. She’s worked with Jonathan Katz, who is Dr. Katz if you’ve heard of him, and performed at the Gilda Radner Laugh Fest in 2014. She hosts a lot of shows over at Sleepy Creek Vineyards for the Gong Show as well.
Shawna B. (right) is a stand-up veteran and she’s great to perform with. She’s performed all over Central Illinois and is a crowd favorite. She’s actually a regular for Vintage Villains and really done a lot to support and promote the local comedy scene. She’s done a lot of great shows in places like Memphis on Main, Sleepy Creek Vineyards, and she’s also done The Taste of Danville.
Jesse Long (pictured below) is another comedy veteran and she also has done a lot of performances throughout east central Illinois as well, including Parkland College, Memphis on Main, and the Champaign Pride Fest. She also has performed at the West Side Comedy Theater in Los Angeles and this will actually be her debut performance at Vintage Villains.
Julia Megan Sullivan (pictured below) is great as well; she’s actually our headliner and has lots of experience with film and stage. She actually won first place at the variety show I did back in June and she also tied for first place at the last Gong Show Charlie and I did over at Sleepy Creek. Julie does musical comedy and the song that she performed at the variety show back in June and performed a song I believe was called, “I’m Not Pregnant, I’m Fat”. She has a CD out called You’re my Favorite which is a Christmas CD and she’s an award-winning actress. She also studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute so she’s quite acclaimed.
We also have three great sponsors for the show; The Barber Shop in Westville, they have returned as a sponsor. We also have Frozie’s Fat Calf Frozen Yogurt in Danville — it’s amazing, probably the best I’ve ever had in my life — and then Café 13 in downtown Danville. Both the food sponsors will be on hand with samples that we’re going to hand out during intermission.
SP: It seems like you thrive on Halloween. What is the best Halloween costume you’ve seen?
Ripper: I can tell you that immediately. It was at the Vintage Villains Halloween party last year and somebody came dressed as Ripper the Clown. It’s actually a funny story. In the sunglasses, I try to act like I’m perfectly cool walking around in those sunglasses — I actually write about this in my book — but when the venue is dark, I can’t see a thing. So I’m just trying to act confident and act like I’m in control but actually, like every footstep I’m fearful that I’m going to trip over something. So I ducked outside during last year’s Halloween show at Villains, and, of course, it was still dark outside. And some lady came up to me and all I could see was that she had a white-painted face. So I was like, “Hi, how are you?” and greeted her, and she went inside, and a couple minutes later I went inside to the store area to go back to the venue and someone was like, “hey, someone just came in here dressed like you!” and I was like, “what are you talking about?” and they pointed and were like, “it’s that girl back there.” So at that point, in the lighted area, I could see and I was like, “oh my God, that’s the girl that just approached me.” So I went up to her and she was crying because I knew that she thought that I just totally blew off the fact that she was dressed as Ripper the Clown. I felt so bad since I couldn’t see; all I could see was someone with a painted white face dressed in black. So I apologized and told her how much I loved it, and it was quite awesome – it really was. We had already done the costume contest, but when we judged the costume contest, I brought her up on stage and I have to say, that was like, one of the most flattering tributes that anyone has ever done towards what I’m doing. It really touched me.