Man farts, woman smarter

Battle of Sexes Improv

Funny, smart, smart, funny. All together now: Smart <i>and </i>funny!

Funny, smart, smart, funny. All together now: Smart and funny!

Battle of Sexes Improv Saturday, November 6, at Sacramento Comedy Spot, 1050 20th Street, Suite 130; $8, or a special two-show deal with the Anti-Cooperation League at 9 p.m. for $12; (916) 444-3137;

Sacramento Comedy Spot

1050 20th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
Ste. 130

(916) 444-3137

Billie Jean King thumped Bobby Riggs all those years ago, but it didn’t resolve the man vs. woman dilemma completely, and this Saturday’s Battle of Sexes Improv at the Sacramento Comedy Spot has much funnier contenders.

“These are the best improv comics we’ve got,” says Brian Crall, proprietor of Sacramento Comedy Spot. Crall’s hoping this gender comedy battle will leave the spectators dying of laughter and put to bed for good the question of whether or not women are funny.

“You know, [John] Belushi didn’t think women were funny at all,” Crall added, “and he would say it out loud all the time, but it’s so untrue. I think time has proven him wrong.” He points to a number of successful female comics—including the local all-women improv troupe Lady Business—as proof.

Crall was chatting with fellow comedian Jeff Sloniker, an Los Angeles resident who has done work for Comedy Central, about a competition to follow up the Comedy Spot’s very successful High Vs Drunk Improv series, when they came up with the idea of pitting women against men.

“I’m thinking the girls are gonna win this thing,” said Crall. “But I think it will be fun, either way.”

So, what have the girls got? “Women are smarter on stage. I mean funny-smarter,” he said. Crall mentioned that a number of female improv comedians have told him that they “feel like props onstage.”

“It’s because they always get stuck being the girlfriend or the wife,” he said. “That’s why, when they have a choice, they stay away from that in their work.”

And, Crall acknowledged, there’s a certain kind of “boy humor” that, well, really isn’t what you’d call intellectual. “I do a lot of poop jokes,” he said. “I try to make my poop jokes smarter, but it’s very hard.”

There is a tendency to go to both scatological and sexual humor for a quick laugh, and that’s where being talented and smart comes in. “It’s not like girls don’t go there, but when they do it’s smarter,” Crall said. It keeps the poop, fart and penis jokes under control, you might say.

The Battle of Sexes show starts at 11 p.m. on Saturday. Each team will get 20 minutes and have their choice of how to open (usually either a monologue or something more organic). A coin toss will determine who goes first. Audience members will be given ballots, and while they vote, they’ll get to see both troupes working together.

Lineups were still being nailed down at press time, but expect to see Micaela Smith, Tiffany Schultz, Mignon Schreuder, Brittany Birrer and Rachael Burruel representing the women. Ash Dauenhauer, Terry Greene, Ted Samson, Ninad Athale and Crall will make up the men’s team.

The winning team is guaranteed bragging rights, but according to Crall, there may also be “a friendly wager of some sort.”

“But I think the girls are going to really bring it on Saturday night.”