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2B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 30, 2004

Random likes Hanson's charm

tableof contents

The Michigan Dail
Inferno fires up new comedi

By Chris Gaerig
For the Daily
The Michigan Daily: Hi. Is
Katherine there?
Random: No.
TMD: Well, hi. This is the
Michigan Daily, and you've been
selected to do the Random Student
Interview.
R: Sure.
TMD: Cool. Do you have a cou-
ple of minutes?
R: Sure.
TMD: If you were highlighting
in a book, would you use a yellow
highlighter, different color or Post-
It notes?
R: All of the above.
TMD: None of the above?
R: No, all of the above.
TMD: Oh! All of the above.
Works for me. All right. Which
would you rather be - G.I. Joe or
a Transformer? And I'm not talking
about Beast Wars transformers: I
mean real Transformers.
R: I like the Beast Wars.
TMD: Why? Beast Wars is ter-
rible.
R: You're wrong, man.
TMD: We're going to just go to
the next question because I can't
believe you just said that. Did you
know that "The Blair Witch Proj-
ect" wasn't real?
R: Yes.
TMD: Really?
R: Yes.
TMD: I didn't. What's better than
free peanut butter and jelly?
R: Free sex.
TMD: Free sex? I didn't even
think about that. I really don't think
anything could be better than free
peanut butter and jelly. Alright
though. We'll move on. Who do you
think would win in a fight between
Chad Henne and Michael Phelps
and why?
R: Chad Henne.
TMD: Why?

R: Cause Michael Phelps is a
skinny ... skinny bastard.
TMD: He's a skinny bastard? He
won six gold medals!
R: Yeah but, Henne is tough,
man. Can Michael Phelps throw a
ball 60 yards?
TMD: No, but he can swim really
fast.
R: Yeah, but no one can swim
faster than Henne can throw a ball.
TMD: I guess. We'll just agree to
disagree. If you could add any ani-
mal to the Animal Crackers collec-
tion, what animal would it be?
R: Hm ... probably a rat.
TMD: A rat?
R: Yes.
TMD: That's not a very desirable
animal. I would add an octopus or
something.
R: Yeah, but no one would eat an
octopus.
TMD: No one would eat a rat
though. Rats are dirty.
R: That's where you're wrong
man. They have restaurants in Korea
where they serve rat.
TMD: But they serve octopus
here.
R: Yeah ... I guess. But, it's real-
ly squid. And squid is better than
octopus.
TMD: I guess you have a point.
Moving on. What's a better video
game: "Ice Hockey" or "Blades of
Steel?"
R: Got to go with old school.
TMD: Which would be? "Ice
Hockey" or "Blades of Steel?"
They're both old school.
R: Fine. "Ice Hockey."
TMD: Finally, something we
can agree on. Alright, this one's a
doosey. Do you think Johnny Depp
actually is a gay pirate in real life or
does he just play one in "Pirates of
the Caribbean?"
R: Well, he is married.
TMD: That doesn't really mat-
ter.
R: And he has kids.
TMD: That also doesn't matter

R: Well, I just think he played
one.
TMD: So he was just acting?
R: Yeah. But he wasn't 'even all
that gay in that one.
TMD: Eh ... if you say so. Next.
Who's the hottest of these three:
Katie Holmes, Mandy Moore or
Taylor Hanson?
R: Who is Taylor Hanson? (Slight
pause) Oh! I get it. Taylor Hanson
does have that boyish charm.
TMD: I do have to agree with
you.
R: And, Katie Holmes sucks at
acting.
TMD: I do have to agree with you
again. She's not very good.
R: So, I think I'll go with Taylor
Hanson. He has a very good voice.
TMD: Yes he does. Who's better
looking: my brother or me?
R: Hm ... I would say you.
TMD: That's usually what my
mom says actually. Who's more
crunk: Lil'Jon or the Ying Yang
twins?
R: I've met Lil'Jon. He's not real
crunk.
TMD: Really? But he invented
crunk. So you'd have to go with
the Ying Yang twins by process of
elimination?
R: I guess so.
TMD: Who's more annoying:
Screech or Urkel?
R: I'm thinking you right now.
TMD: This is a friendly conver-
sation.
R: You know, you know ... I've
gotten lots and lots of calls and I
don't know who from, maybe you
... probably you.
TMD: I swear this is the first
time I have ever called you
R: I've gotten a lot of pizza calls.
Like people just randomly call me
and tell me I have pizza waiting in
the lounge.
TMD: Well, I have never once
done that to you.
R: What is all of this in reference
to anyway?

TMD: The Michigan Daily? The
Random Student Interview?
R: So if it's completely random
who have you called before me?
TMD: A bunch of people that
didn't pick up.
R: And you got me? I'm lucking?
I am the lucky random student?
TMD: Yeah, but you're going to
be in the paper.
R: Alright ... wait, what's my
name?
TMD: I don't know.
R: How am I supposed to be in the
paper if you don't have my name?
TMD: I don't know. You can just
tell your friends it's you.
R: They won't believe me. Don't
you have to know my name to get
this interview down?
TMD: Not really. We just need
your answers.
R: You just need my answers?
How come I think this is a scam?
TMD: It's not a scam. Read the
paper on Thursday. OK, let's move
on. Did you know that the Hulk and
Shrek are brothers?
R: Well Shrek is naturally green
and the Hulk was actually Bruce
Banner.
TMD: Don't ask me how it hap-
pened. I just know it's true.
R: Then no, I didn't know that.
TMD: Have you ever had the urge
to stick a paper clip in a light socket
just to see how it feels?
R: I've actually done that once.
TMD: Me too!
R: Yeah, it doesn't feel all that
special.
TMD: It kind of sucks.
R: Yeah, I guess it does.
TMD: Well I guess that wraps it
up. Thanks for helping us out and
look for this on Thursday. Oh...
what is your name?
R: Do I really give my.name?
TMD: You don't have to.
R: How about I give you like a
fake pseudonym? Let me think
of something funny. I will be ...
Ammar.

3B
4B
5B
6B
7B
8B

The Random
Student Interview
Andrew Gaerig:
My Column This
Week Is Sweet
Noodles & Co.
extends its reach
to Ann Arbor
Adam Rosen:
Reapin' the.faith
The Great
House Hunt
Under the Radar:
Biener's Wieners
The Rant: Gym
socks are lame
The Daily Arts
Mix Tape
Alex Wolsky:
Second chances
Improv Inferno
Opinion:
Breaking the Trend

By Lauren Carlysie Smith
For the Daily

How many weekend nights are
spent waiting in an hour-long line
for Rick's? How many times do
roommates sit around in the living
room sipping half-empty cans of
Bud Light wondering "Where do we
go tonight?"
Just when the community of Ann
Arbor thought it had tried every bar
in town, something new has hit the
scene. The Crow Bar, on Main Street
across from Gratzi and the Ark, sat
closed and boarded for several years
before the hottest in comedy styling
took its place.
Dan Izzo, hailing from Chicago,
came to Ann Arbor on July 12 to start
painting flames on the closed-down
joint, turning it into The Improv
Inferno. "Improv," Izzo asserts, "is
the new school of acting for the 21st
century. I wanted to develop and
show with a really wide appeal and
also create a concept so people can
understand what this improv gig is
all about."
The new "comedy lounge," as Izzo
affectionately refers to his place,
is open Thursday through Sunday,
offering a sampling of improv for
(almost) all audiences. From Cat-
fights, to Damnation Games, to the
X-Show, to a fairly standard open-
mic night, the novel entertainment
Ann Arbor was waiting for has
exploded with a burst of flames at
309 S. Main St.
The baby of Izzo's endeavor,
besides the heartfelt sweat and paint
stains that went into the massive
orange and crimson flames illumi-
nating the walls the staff decorat-
ed themselves, are his Damnation
Games. The concept behind these
games is, in Izzo's words, to "take
'Whose Line is it Anyway?' add a
dose of Match Game '77 and put the
whole thing on the set of a TV game

show in hell."
As a guest walking into this com-
edy lounge and bar, the bespecta-
cled, goateed doorman hands you a
sheet of paper. "Name," it asks you.
"What do you do for money?" "What
do you do for fun?" "Give us a loca-
tion (like bathroom, frat house), and
occupation (lawyer, astronaut), and
an object (like a vibrator, but not
that, let's keep it clean)." Finally,
the paper asks: "Are you willing to
come up onstage?" The crew will
arrange its show based on the sug-
gestions, lifestyles and participation
of that particular audience.
"The most important part of our
show," says comedian Johnny Vic-
tor, "is the audience." Izzo arbitrari-
ly calls on six audience members to
pair up with six cast members. As
the game goes on, he'll award points
to the actors in the improvisational
skits. Ever wished you could have
a full lunch supply of Rice-a-Roni?
Ever wish you were the lucky win-
ner of a set of Loch Ness Monster
salt-and-pepper shakers? That is just
a sampling of the prizes awarded.
These games are featured mostly
on Friday and Saturday nights. With
a PG-13 rated show at 8 p.m. and an
R rated show at 10 p.m., the cast of
the Improv Inferno hopes to draw in
a crowd ranging from ages 18 to 50.
Izzo also runs a Catfight on Thurs-
day nights, featuring competitions
between local improv groups. And
an X-Show at midnight on Fridays
and Saturdays is complete with $2
bottles of Dos Equis XX.
"Even if I'm having a terrible day,"
says Sabrina Harper, Izzo's business
partner, "knowing I'll be on stage
for the X-Show makes everything
alright."
"I get to live my dream," says
Harper. "All I've ever wanted was
to own my own comedy place and
to spread the word about how cool
improv is." The two comedians are

IIB

Improv artists Bob Marquis of Royal Oak and Matt Naas of Shelby Town
Izzo, the owner, painted the club's walls.

M A GA IN E

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Writers: Stephanie Canning,
Ashley Dinges, Chris Gaerig,
Leah Hangarter, Megan Jacobs,
Nicole Kulwicki, Tian Lee,
Emily Liu, Lauren Smith
Photo Editors: Elise Bergman,
Tony Ding, Ryan Weiner
Photographers: Elise Bergman,
Alexander Dziadosz, Jeff Lehnert,
Ali Olsen, David Tuman
Cover Art: Jeff Lehnert
Arts Editors: Jason Roberts,
Managing Editor
Adam Rottenberg, Alex
Wolsky, Editors
Editor in Chief: Jordan Schrader

especially keen on involving the
University in their improv games.
"I'd love to have a Big Ten challenge
down here," Izzo exclaims. He's
even contacted two of the Universi-
ty's improv groups about collaborat-
ing on a project or two and currently
offers classes for anyone interested.
As Heidi Kabanuk, who bartend-
ed for the Inferno's bar, says, "You
could go every week and neversee
the same show." Perhaps the best
part about the lounge, beyond the
organic nature of improv in itself,
beyond the drinks, the "Dean Martin
sensibilities" and "celebrityfroast"
feeling, as Izzo says, is the fact that
the "naughty fun" Ann Arbor resi-
dents find here is something worth
leaving the house for.
Kabanuk laughs again as she
recalls: "When I was working, I
was laughing so hard that I almost
dropped my tray on several occa-
sions."
Even if Kabanuk spills a couple
Dos Equis during the show, you can
still enjoy a professionally polished,
absolutely hilarious, novel type of
entertainment just downtown in
Ann Arbor. While you're at it, have
a couple cocktails as well. "We'll
close when the last person rolls out,"
Izzo laughs. "Or 2 o'clock, which-
ever comes first."

"T H E R I
810 S. STATE ST.
OPEN UNTIL 4AM

U

Owner Dan Izzo turned an empty building into the Improv Inferno.

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