Your Terrific Neighbors have been the Austin sketch comedy gold standard for so many years, you might be tempted to take them for granted. But each performance proves that YTN continues to be as inventive as they are hilarious. We asked some questions to Curtis, Courtney, and Braden. Wait… where’s Braden?
Curtis Luciani: Sorry that Braden couldn’t make it to this online Q&A, guys. He’s a high school teacher, so between that and Sketch Fest, the month of May is pretty much designed to kill him.
Your Terrific Neighbors has been an Austin sketch mainstay for years now. How do you keep your work fresh?
Curtis: We keep our scripts sealed tight, and we push all the air out of the bag first. That’s an important step.
Courtney Hopkin: I think we all spend a lot of time consuming different kinds of entertainment, doing different kinds of shows, seeing different kinds of shows. Curtis was in a wrestling show this year. It’s great to come back from stuff like that with new ideas and not just have our heads buried in the sketch world.
Curtis: There will be lots of chair shots in the Sketch Fest show this year.
What can we expect from your ASF show?
Curtis: Hmmm. Folk tales! Sketches about people in offices. There will probably be one or two costumes. You know, sketch comedy-type stuff.
You’ve done shows with one narrative in the past, written original music, videos – is there something YTN hasn’t tackled yet that you’d like to take on?
Curtis: We’ve been talking about doing a full-out comedy play this year. We’ve kind of done that in the past, with some shows that were essentially one long sketch, but we’ve talked about going all out with that, with a full cast and everything.
Courtney: I’ve been really into vaudeville and commedia lately (I’ve been taking this uppity theater class for a semester) and I’m really excited for us to do more physical stuff. We’re very talky, which I love, but as always, we want to see what else we’re capable of. I’m pretty sure we can find new and fun ways to fall down a bunch!
Curtis: I will fall down in the swaggering but cowardly style of il capitano.
What out-of-town acts are you looking forward to seeing?
Curtis: There are tons of terrific shows. But look: if you don’t go see Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, you are a dope. They are maybe my favorite sketch group in current operation, full stop.
Courtney: I love Rabbit, Rabbit so much it hurts. Those guys just speak to me. I’m excited about Ithamar’s silent show. He’s such a precision craftsman. A lot of what makes comedy beautiful is clear, solid, specific choices and he is the master of that. It’s gonna be unlike anything else in the fest.
Curtis: Just get yourselves a pass and see all of the shows, citizens!
Your Terrific Neighbors perform Thursday, May 22nd at 8:30pm along with Why We Broke Up and Duncan Carson at the Spider House Ballroom. TICKETS HERE.