With February recording its coldest month ever, even a place like Hell can seem enticing. New York City comedians Matt Wayne and Doug Smith are hoping that’s the case, as they bring their “See You in Hell” show to Helium Comedy Club (30 Mississippi St.) at midnight Saturday. Tickets for the show are $10 to $18.
A native of Amherst who started performing comedy in 2001, Wayne has evolved his routine in Buffalo, Chicago and now New York, where he moved in 2009. He met Smith while hitting open mics in New York and together they created the monthly “See You in Hell” show in 2012, a format that has worked so well they are now bringing it on the road.
Even if you’ve seen some of the local acts booked to perform (Kate Anderson, Tyrone Maclin, Rick Matthews, Josh Potter and Kyle Turner are on the bill), you’ll likely see a new twist, as every comic is forced to do random celebrity impressions and tell jokes from a unique version of Hell.
Question: What was the inspiration for “See You in Hell?”
Answer: There are all these shows in New York with funny/cool names. Doug and I noticed that these shows had cool names, but didn’t back them up in anyway. Why not have a show that lives up to its name? We wanted to do a show that kicked it up a notch. We thought all the comics that were being booked on shows were really funny, talented people. So why not have them do something else? What if we engulfed them in comedy hell … and made them do impressions?
Q: The show’s conceit is that each performer draws a random hell to perform in. What type of hell can you come up?
A: After three years of doing this show, we’ve developed a nice list of comedy hells. Some of our favorite hells are “Whiskey Drinking Bear Hell,” (as) the comic is put into a bear suit, and we provide four shots of well whiskey; “Guantanamo Bay Hell,” (where) we tie the comic to a chair and blindfold them; “Freestyle Rap Hell,” (which we) interrupt the comic with a beat, and let them go; and “Edward EZ Cheeze Hands,” (as) we tape canisters of EZ Cheese to the comic’s hands, they tell jokes and eat gross cheese.
While our show at first glance might come off as some sort of torture show, it couldn’t be further from that. The hells are meant to compliment the performer’s talent. Comics always tell us how much fun they had on our show.