As two highly organized Type A control freaks, we didn’t think we could appreciate the existence of lists any more than we already do. But this week NOW Magazine published a series of lists and, after finding ourselves included in Glenn Sumi’s Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2012, we have decided that lists are mankind’s greatest invention and that everything should be in list form, especially when it is ranking how great things are and we are included in the top 10 of said list.
So, in the spirit of list-loving and year-end roundups, we bring you a list of Two Weird Ladies’ 10 Weirdest Moments of 2012. (Some of these are more experiences than moments, but the word “moments” sounded better, OKAY?)
10. The many things that went wrong on the Fringe stage
If you saw our show, you probably thought we executed every dance move and delivered every joke with such precision and professionalism that you were tempted to file a Freedom of Information request with the government to see if we were prototypes for un-starve-able comedian robots. But there were many times that, beneath the on-stage shtick, our real selves were mentally managing heart palpitations. One afternoon poor old Manders leapt onto stage only to realize she had forgotten her ukulele pick and had to awkwardly strum our opening number with her fingers. One night my nose started bleeding halfway through the set and I had to plough through, singing, dancing, reciting monologues and even accosting members of the audience all while hoping there was not nasal blood streaming down my face. But these travesties, matched with runaway sound cues, flubbed lines and a wandering spotlight, could not stop us from being, like, the greatest and prettiest and funniest people ever.
9. Doing sketch comedy with microphones on the street in rush hour
When we booked the 6pm performance slot at the local market we didn’t imagine ourselves standing on a cement stoop at Bathurst and Dundas, performing sketch with handheld microphones so we could be heard over the squealing streetcars filled with gawking commuters. As awkward as it was to hear our songs about Nana being an idiot for believing in the afterlife echoing through the busy intersection, we ended up meeting some great Fringe performers who kindly came and saw our show.
8. Our talk show-style interviews
After being part of Larry Smith’s Talk Show – which involved us delivering rambling answers as the vaudevillian comic with a migraine drew caricatures of us in the tiny Hamilton bar that served $2 pints of “Fringe Party Beer” – we didn’t think things could get any weirder. But then we booked a slot on Mullet’s Night Show. Mullet is a zombie clown. I am terrified of clowns. I booked this show, partly because it’s a great show, partly because I didn’t want to hold Mandy back, partly because I thought the zombie factor would make the clown less scary because it meant the clown had, at one point, died and partly because I am an idiot. It is hard to endear yourself to a room full of zombie clown fans when you can’t make eye contact with the host and almost cry onstage.
7. Making some money by doing sketch comedy
Anyone who does sketch knows this does not happen. It’s not like we made enough to quit our jobs and start shopping at Whole Foods, but we were able to pay off our expenses, give bonuses to the people who helped us and cover our bar tabs. Fringe claims all proceeds go back to the performers but really they go straight to the Fringe bar.
6. Pretending to jerk off in front of our bosses
We both work fancy office jobs at which we sign off corporate emails with phrases like “Best regards” and have to go to meetings and wear pants made of tweed. Our kind, supportive directors and VPs took time out of their busy family lives to come see a glimpse of this secret comedy thing we do. What they got was us performing jerk-off motions, dropping the c-word, Mandy pretending to be mentally challenged and a scene about, well, us wanting to quit our office jobs. It was awkward. But then we both got promotions.
5. Eating a cold turkey drumstick in front of a live audience
Behind every Weird Lady is a weird director who decides nothing would be more hilarious than making someone with aversions to cold poultry and messy hands grab a chunk of meat and chew on it for a minute and a half in front of 108 people. Instead of flowers, Professional Director Kirsten Gallagher brought an insulated lunch bag containing a $9 smoked turkey drumstick to our final Fringe performance in Toronto. Mandy ate it begrudgingly. She will probably find it hilarious one day, assuming she gets dementia.
4. Being confronted by an animal rights activist
During the aforementioned Larry Smith Talk Show, when asked about our director we casually mentioned that she was currently in Vietnam and had posted a photo from her travels of some horse sushi. After returning to our table of $2 Fringe Party Beer, we were approached by a lady kind enough to tell us we had better watch what we say because people should NOT eat horses and, by the way, did we have any idea of the inhumane conditions horses used to face before being slaughtered when horse meat was available in North America? She began a gory description of horse butchery when Stage Manager Jesse asked her to please stop. I’m glad she did. She was making me hungry.
3. Being “heckled” to pillow fight in a scene with no pillows
Doing 14 consecutive Fringe shows for theatre nerds of all ages kind of helped us forget that a Friday at 11pm all-male improv show at a bar might attract a younger, drink-y-er, yell-y-er crowd. That said, we never expected that our scene about two girls getting ready for a blind date would illicit cries of “MAKE OUT!” or “HAVE A PILLOW FIGHT!” We seriously considered abandoning our script for a pillow fight but unfortunately no pillows were made available to us by the venue. And we always save our make out sessions for after our shows in a private bathroom stall.
2. That day when we did not see or talk to each other
Saturday, August 18th. I was camping and did not have cell phone reception. I drew Mandy’s face on a beach ball and cooked her a strip loin steak. The next day the steak was gone. I am not sure whether a) the medium-rare meat enticed a bear to the campsite or b) beach ball Mandy came to life, ate the steak then smashed a Coleman cooler open on a rock and also ate all the raw sausages and bacon then ripped open the garbage and threw it all over the ground. I guess we will never know.
1. Having strangers say nice things about us
While we are bored to death with strangers commenting on how pretty and smart and nice we are, Fringe was our first real experience with strangers commenting on us being funny. Well, strangers, it’s about time! There was nothing more wonderful than seeing reviewers or bloggers use adjectives to describe us such as: irreverent, entertaining, explosive, popular, intelligent, fresh, fascinating, hilarious, really fucking hilarious, energetic, genius, funny, smart, beautiful, bizarre, hysterical, clever, creative, damn good, likeable, impeccable, admirable, infectious, unrelenting, fantastic, self-aware, fun, refreshing, charming, magical, 20-somethings, fast-paced, fantastic, professional, young, authentic, laugh-out-loud, top-drawer, and quality. Add to this being included in lists such as Torontoist’s Top 10 things at Fringe and NOW Magazine’s Outstanding Fringe Productions and Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2012 and you’ve got some major ego problems. Never wanting to let things go to our heads, Mandy and I are currently writing a series of highly racist sketches that take place in the bathroom, all of which are eight minutes long and end with one of us realizing “it was all a dream.”
Next year we will release a list of the ten best stages we have been booed off of. Until then, thank you, everyone, for giving us such an incredible 2012!