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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Show Review: Tremendosaur

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Sitting knee to knee in the hot, dark, rectangular back room of a coffee shop on Santa Monica Boulevard, it’s easy to think you’ve been lied to. Hoodwinked. This comedy thing, it’s nothing but blank, bleak spaces with one brick wall and a silent cry for touch up paint. Bamboozled. But then you look around, and realize the only reason your knee is getting cozy with its neighbor in the first place is because this place is cramped. At 8 o’clock at night on an unassuming Tuesday, the Comedy Central Stage (part of the Hudson Guild Theater in LA’s Theater Row) is absolutely buzzing. It’s not the Comedy Central brand name, or the ticket price - free; instead friends, family, cohorts, and online aficionados are here to support Tremendosaur, the 2-man sketch comedy beast comprised of Justin Michael and Jacob Reed. Turns out, the only folks getting hornswaggled are those who aren’t here.

See, Tremendosaur is one of the most consistently funny sketch comedy troupes in Los Angeles, a city that isn’t exactly hurting for good sketch. We’ve got The Birthday Boys, the Groundlings’ Sunday company, Human Giant, and Funny or Die. But Tremendosaur is, frankly, a different animal altogether. As a two-headed monster, they enjoy the freedom to put up faster, more absurd sketches than would be possible with any of the bulging 6 man comedy troupes that seem so common. Want to see a compilation CD commercial parody where Paul Simon sings duets with car horns? They’ve got that. How about a dark reimagining of Nintendo’s original Duck Hunt game? Sure, it’s just a click away. That’s the beauty of only one check and no balances: as long as Justin and Jacob are both laughing, the idea is as good as made.

For years now, these two have been doing just that: cracking each other up. After originally joining prehistoric forces on USC’s improv team Second Nature, Justin and Jacob have gone on to write for television, perform alongside top talent at Comedy Death Ray sketch on Tuesday nights at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and even (hilariously) host a show on Playboy TV. Nowadays, they’re getting as many gigs as ever - with upcoming shows on May 16th at iO West and May 22nd at M.i.'s Westside Comedy in Santa Monica - proving Tremendosaur won’t soon be relegated to the history books.

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On this night, as the stage goes dark and the crowd lights up, you get the real feeling that Tremendosaur is doing the comedy they wanted all along. They race through short scenes, sometimes playing quirky versions of themselves (albeit with a crush on Mrs. Doubtfire) and other times sitting in a children’s Playskool car donning a large white beard and operatically proclaiming yourself Car Wizard. The crowd laughs easily and applauds heartily as Justin and Jacob click through videos of them as absurdist glam rockers or scairdycats calling forth Bloody Mary from a bathroom mirror. And as the show ends and everyone steps outside onto the cool sidewalk, hoodies up and smiles on their faces, Tremendosaur emerges from its post-show hibernation to shake hands with those who’ve stuck around. And this, the giggles and quirky bits under the streetlamps on one of those any-other-nights just off the Hollywood strip, the simple and confident grasp of what’s funny by two young friends who laugh at each other’s jokes, this is what restores your faith in comedy. Tremendosaur doesn’t represent the loathing “if they can do it, so can I” mentality. Rather, they can do it, and so should you.

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