Comedy, openness, passion, friendship, and experimentation. These are the tenets of Austin’s famed comedy duo, The P! Company. Combining high energy live sketches, video shorts, and conversations between the P! Company’s super funny hosts, Andy Petruzzo and Kyle Sweeney. We asked Kyle and Andy to give us a breakdown on the shakedown of tonight’s show.
How did you get involved with doing sketch comedy?
Kyle Sweeney: Andy and I have been making comedy videos/home movies together since we were in junior high. While other, better-adjusted pre-teens were dating and socializing, we took every effort to become more like the weirdo with a video camera from American Beauty. We too found the floating plastic bag as beautiful.
Andy Petruzzo: We have beautiful minds.
Kyle: No no – I’m referring to American Beauty, not A Beautiful Mind, the superbly crafted psychological thriller starring Russell Crowe.
Andy: Ah yes – and masterfully directed by Ron “Splash” Howard.
Kyle: Mmhm. So, we’d had a lot of time growing up together, being funny- then throw in some theatrical experience, mixed with our painful childhoods,
Andy: I wouldn’t say “painful.”
Kyle: I mean I didn’t get the Sega CD right when it came out.
Andy: Now I understand. A tragic period, to be sure.
Kyle: ANYWAY, then we organically shifted into that medium of sketch.
Andy: To be clear, we started sketch comedy because our parents wouldn’t buy us the Sega CD console.
Kyle: Of course. I think that’s why Lorne Michaels started SNL in the mid 90’s.
Andy: No that was because of the 32X.
Kyle: Now I understand.
What’s your writing process like?
Andy: I feel like I’m one of those comedians who can’t shut their brain off to the possibility of funny bits and bizarre characters.
Kyle: Like when we went to 7-11 yesterday – you saw this sort of shlub guy and said “Look at me, I’m a shlub”, in a shlub voice.
Andy: A perfect case in point. I call my creation “shlub-man.”
Kyle: Sometimes we do like a funny character over the phone, and we improvise it out to its natural conclusion.
Andy: Phone calls between us usually last a good 15-30 minutes before we ever get to the reason why we called the other. Yeah, so, it’s everywhere.
Kyle: And usually the ideas are pretty fleshed out and have been massaged a few different ways before we even start to commit anything to a script.
What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?
Andy: This show will be one of my final performances in Austin.
Kyle: This is true. Andy is moving to LA. His dream is to work on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Andy: A show which has been off the air for 18 years. But the P! Company will definitely continue – just in a different form.
Kyle: So obviously this show has some special meaning for us. And there are some great groups we want to see, but they didn’t get into the fest this year.
Andy: Sketch sensation Denis Leary didn’t get in to ATX Sketchfest. He filled out the form wrong or something.
Kyle: We have a committee assembled to get to the bottom of this…
Andy & Kyle: CONSPIRACY.
Kyle: All kidding aside, we’re excited to have an event like this showcase a nice cross section of Austin’s local sketch talent as well as some great groups from across the country.
Andy: Very eloquent… for a conspiracy.
What can we expect from your ASF show?
Kyle: This one has everything.
Andy: We have some “mainstream” sketches for you norms, and then some ones that go into a much stranger place than we’ve gone before.
Kyle: We don’t think the audience will get too weirded out- except for the lowly norms aka normal people, this show isn’t for them.
Andy: We made a definite choice to slowly increase the weirdness as the show progresses.
Kyle: Slow like a heart attack. Also, no pregnant women will be allowed entry. It’s an insurance thing.
Andy: Our manager said we had to.
Cool guys. What’s your manager’s name?
Kyle: Shut the fuck up, Mac!
Take it easy, man. List 5 things about The P! Company, of which only 3 are true.
Andy: 5 Things?
Kyle: There are 21 known things about the P! Company, so listing 5 should be easy.
Andy: The first is that we have been doing sketch in Austin since 2007.
Kyle: Correct… or is it?
Andy: Another fact is that we are mysterious.
Kyle: Very nice. Or are we?
Andy: I’m going to rapid fire the rest of these – 9/11 Inside job, Moon Hoax, and gay.
Kyle: Thank you and goodnight.
The P! Company performs at Hyde Park Theater TONIGHT, Thursday, May 24th at 10 PM, with One Across. Tickets HERE.