Midnight Society formed as an improv troupe in 2007 and, along with the Frank Mills, perform every Saturday Night at ColdTowne Theater. For years, they also performed a monthly sketch show, Midnight Society Presents. Known for outrageous knife fights and eggnog-chugging, their show was always unpredictable. Since the last show in 2012, many of Midnight Society’s key writers and performers moved away. Nick Ramirez and Michael Williams moved to New York City and Andy Petruzzo now resides in LA. While the weekly improv show continues, the Midnight Society Presents sketch show went the way of the dodo. However, the stars are aligning and wizards are doing whatever wizards are doing to make stuff come back alive, and Midnight Society Presents is returning for to Austin for one night only to perform a mix of classic and new sketches during Sketch Fest.
We grilled Midnight Society for some details about their upcoming reunion show.
How did your group get together?
Lance Gilstrap: We were forced by ColdTowne Theater to be an improv troupe together. We really showed them the folly of their ways by liking each other and eventually started writing sketch together.
Who are your influences? Who are some of your favorite sketch comedy acts performing today?
Nick Ramirez: I love the insane silliness of Stella, the committed characters and acting of Kids in the Hall and the inventive absurdity of Mr. Show. Hopefully the best Midnight Society sketches combine those influences. As far as more modern comedy, I think The Birthday Boys was the funniest sketch comedy show of the last 10 or 15 years. I also love Boat, a sketch team from here in New York that recently moved to Los Angeles.
What makes you laugh the most?
Michael Williams: Some of the questions are confusing. I mean, I think comedy makes me laugh the most but in reality I probably laugh more at stuff that isn’t “comedy”. Like when I see a dog getting yelled at because they are running away. It’s sad to think the dog might run away. And sad to think that the owner doesn’t realize the dog probably can’t speak English. Know what I’m saying?
Barely. Do you have any fun “best show” stories?
Andy Petruzzo: Any Halloween show was our best. The creative energy just seemed to flow more around Ol’ Hallow’s Eve. I could be wrong but I think everyone’s favorite holiday in the group is the aforementioned holiday of Halloween. When we had license to couch everything in horror and dark atmosphere, we were happiest. Suddenly, we became more interested in doing homages and parodies – much more than in other times of the year. It comes from a place of loving horror movies, or “Gornos” as Midnight Society star Jericho Thorp calls them.
What are you looking forward to while visiting Austin? Any acts you’re looking forward to at this year’s festival?
Nick: I have a list of restaurants that I have to go to anytime I’m back in Austin. Aside from the standard Tex-Mex and BBQ, I’ll almost always go to Luby’s for the LuAnn Platter with fried fish, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. And I’ll usually stop by Long John Silver’s because they don’t have LJS in New York and I love their fried garbage.
Share with us your tips for a job interview.
Joel Keith: Look the interviewer straight in the eye. Don’t touch them inappropriately. Be there early, well rested and wear pants!
We need to increase the visibility of this article. Any suggestions for a click-bait headline?
Andy: Can Climate Denying Comedy Work? Local Favorite Midnight Society Says “Yes.”
Midnight Society performs at Austin Sketch Fest on Wednesday, May 20th at 10pm at the ColdTowne Theater.