Jack Brown: director of The Friday Show
Sketching Sacramento for two years
Like many sketch comedians, Jack Brown first got into comedy through his rugby team. Brown was making fun of a coach during a team-bonding show, people were laughing and he realized he could pursue the laughter. He graduated from UCLA, came back to Sacramento and stepped into the comedy scene with some improv. Much like other things you step in, comedy stuck.
Now 26, Brown works at an educational testing service—but more importantly, he has been directing The Friday Show at Sacramento Comedy Spot for more than a year, as well as writing and performing in it. It’s a monthly, eight-person sketch show with a little improv sprinkled in, and its two-year anniversary show is Aug. 16. SN&R chatted with Brown about The Friday Show—and it got personal.
Why is it called The Friday show?
Well, the name came from when the show is, which is on Friday. (Laughs.) It was a real long process to get there, but we figured it out.
Is directing fun?
Somebody’s got to do it. I wasn’t the director when we started, it was Brian Crall, who runs the Sacramento Comedy Spot—he’s also on the team as well—it was just getting to be a little bit too much for him. It was a big-time commitment, he’s got a lot of things going on.
How has the group changed?
We’ve lost some folks, we’ve gained some folks, but it’s been pretty solid. Thankfully we haven’t had a lot of turnover. Every week we meet for two hours, so … we ask a lot from folks and they come through. … They’ve really become some of my best friends, and it’s great to do the show with them.
How do the sketches get written?
First two weeks after a show, we’re pitching. We’ve got ideas, we have a big Google Drive … We basically open it open, go around the room, whoever’s got one speaks up, pitches it out to the group. Sometimes we’ll get up on our feet if it’s something really physical … Then the third week we’re refining the pitches. … The fourth week, we do our full-on tech rehearsal, where we run everything like it’s going to be in the show.
Favorite sketch that sticks out?
Yeah, there was one that we did last month that went super well, it was a Blue’s Clues sketch, so it was like a grisly murder scene and the two cops are trying to figure it out, so they have to call the Blue’s Clues team to sort it out—it was a lot of fun, just playing on the trope of police shows, and that mixed with Blue’s Clues, the kid’s show.
Have you ever considered doing a sketch about a sketch comedian being interviewed by a reporter?
I hadn’t considered it until right now, but I like it. Am I doing a bad job? Like, is this comically bad?
This? No, it’s more like, “What about reporting? There’s a lot of comedy there!”
That’s the cool thing about telling people you do comedy, everyone has an idea. Every person I meet says, “Have you ever thought about doing this type of thing?” It’s always fun to see what people notice and what makes them laugh.
Are they good usually?
I—and you can put this in there—my family gives me the worst pitches imaginable. My family will say stuff, they’ll string words together that have never been put together in that order—and never should’ve been put together in that order. My mom’s last pitch for me was just “fridge magnets.” That’s all she would say. She was like, “That should be enough.”
That one, though, I feel like, makes sense. I get that.
(Laughs.) That’s a good angle for this, now: “Jack lashes out at his mother—this reporter doesn’t agree.”