Bellevue first hit the national spotlight when their original, full-length episode of Seinfeld went viral last year. “Seinfeld: The Leaning Susan” features uncanny portrayals of the four main characters, 90s commercial parodies, and original Seinfeld stand-up.
As a UCB Maude Team (that’s UCB-ese for a theater-organized sketch comedy group), they perform an original sketch show once a month. At Austin Sketch Fest, Bellevue will be performing “The Leaning Susan” followed by a set of improvised Seinfeld. We spoke to them about the inspiration behind resurrecting an iconic sitcom.
I’m sure you’re sick of answering this question, but how did the idea come about to do a Seinfeld episode come about? What was the writing process like for that?
Bellevue: We had been writing monthly sketch shows for almost two years, and decided to branch out and try something new. Cathryn had originally pitched the idea of doing an Elaine impression, and it sort of built from that into casting George, Kramer, and Seinfeld, and then into a fully flushed-out episode.
As “America’s Only Maude Team,” you’re a house sketch team at the UCB in NYC. What are the benefits and drawbacks of coming up through the ranks and being put on a team vs. striking out on your own? What did you have to do to gel and become a cohesive unit?
Bellevue: We really lucked out with the team format through UCB because we all gel really well, and have a very healthy collaborative dynamic. I think the most important thing, and it sounds so simple, but we all share a very similar, specific comedic sensibility. We all have a collective idea of what makes a great show, and are able to work toward that understanding with everyone being on the same page, creatively.
Do you have any fun “best show” stories?
Bellevue: No, but I have a great Best In Show story: one time I passed Jane Lynch walking down 8th Ave. and she smiled at me like we were friends (we’re not), and I told her how great she is, and she said thanks, and we both kept walking because we are busy people.
What should people interested in comedy know that you didn’t know when you started?
Bellevue: A funny man can get work even if he is old, fat, and ugly.
What else – comedy wise – are you looking forward to this year? What do you have cooking?
Bellevue: We all stay busy with disparate endeavors and jobs, individually, but coming together for Seinfeld is a real treat whenever we get the chance.
We need to increase the visibility of this article. Any suggestions for a click-bait headline?
Bellevue: You won’t believe who’s undead from Seinfeld – it’s not who you think.
You can catch Bellevue Saturday, May 28th, 8pm at the Spiderhouse Ballroom with LA’s Blade Brown TICKETS HERE