The P! Company

ASF Hot Seat: The P! Company

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Absurd, charming, hilarious, and possibly sharing a brain – The P! Company is Austin’s most inseparable comedy duos. Which made it extra shocking when company man Andy Petruzzo moved to LA. We’re very excited that Andy is reuniting with Kyle Sweeney to help us kick off the Fest on our opening night Wednesday, 10pm at ColdTowne Theater (get tickets).
Where did your name come from?

Kyle Sweeney: It came in a vision. A single word.
Andy Petruzzo: In j-high (junior high), we constantly made videos after school with my parents’ VHS camcorder – cementing us forever the weird video kids.
Kyle: “Presentoklyok!”
Andy: During one “sketch”, which featured us playing with alphabet blocks for some reason, someone spelled “Presentoklyok” – a nonsense word.
Kyle: When we got tired of explaining it, we abbreviated to the cool, calm, and collected “The P! Company”.
Andy: Other great name choices like Star Wipe Video Productions were forever shut out in favor of the new moniker.

So you guys met in junior high?

Kyle: Actually we met in Kindergarten.

How did the initial friendship form?

Kyle: Andy and my twin brother shared a teacher. And for the longest time I was considered a weird doppelgänger in the alternate reality that was the neighboring classroom.
Andy: Kirk, Kyle’s brother, was blond, and Kyle had brown hair. This is how I distinguished them. But It wasn’t until probably 2nd grade that the ice between us officially broke over the common interests of Star Trek, The Real Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles and pee pee jokes. The rest as we say is history.
Kyle: Historically, we’re friends. That’s what the history books will say.
Andy: And as we all know, the victor writes the history books.
Kyle: Would the future revisionists possibly erase our friendship?
Andy: I don’t know, Kyle. I just don’t know. If the power structure at the time felt threatened, they absolutely would. And that scares me.
Kyle: It’s a crazy world we live in. Anyway, in junior high that’s when we started making videos and being the weird antisocial kids with the video camera.
Andy: Like the guy from American Beauty. I mean, he wasn’t all that weird. Eh, who am I kidding? I guess he was.
Kyle: We video taped like a hundred flying plastic bags.
Andy: They were… beautiful.
Kyle: Yes. We used to tell people that the film American Beauty was based on us.
Andy: It was a lie.
Kyle: But it did get us on at least one date.
Andy: She was real impressed. But it was then and in high school that we used this “video” “technology” in class assignments, birthday videos for friends, and any other opportunity to showcase our “talent”.

What can we expect from your ASF show?

Andy: It’s no less than the near-messianic return of The P! Company to the Austin stage!
Kyle: It’s going to be a hot 25 minutes. 10 of which will be us explaining the origins of the word “Presentoklyok”. Really it’s just two dudes having fun, loving life, and making a go of it.
Andy: Well said.
Kyle: Thank you- the way I see it P! Company is helping open the Austin Sketch Fest in style. And the P in The P! Company stands for what?
Andy: Presentoklyok?
Kyle: No. What else?
Andy: [whispers] Poop?
Kyle: Try again.
Andy: Party.
Kyle: Exactly. No one parties until the P! Company is done!
Andy: We are the party. So tell everyone that the “after party” is actually at our show – Wednesday 10pm at the Coldtowne Theater.
Kyle: That plug should help fill the house- good work, Andy.

What’s the collaboration like with Andy living in LA?

Kyle: I’m sure some of you remember when Andy was taken by the illicit and dirty “city of angels”.... starring Nic Cage and Meg Ryan.
Andy: Not a bad film.
Kyle: Great soundtrack.
Andy: Oh, yes. Anyway, I shipped off to the west coast. Now the technological marvels of
Gmail, the telephone, and modern air travel have conspired to make this show possible.
Kyle: If it’s not possible, then I say- why try?
Andy: That’s the spirit! It’s different for obvious reasons, but the collaboration remains the same in many ways.
Kyle: There’s a lot of phone calls, I suppose. Really a bunch of phone bits. I’ll call and pretend to be his agent or his dry cleaner, maybe a rich distant dying relative with a big conditional inheritance.
Andy: Absolutely. Sometimes we’ll improvise for an hour or more as those characters.
Kyle: So much fun. It’s been a way we’ve used to generate tons of ideas for the show.

What are some of your biggest comedy influences?

Kyle: I’m a fan of the dadaist movement- which may not be comedy per se, but hmmm….
Andy: I think The Simpsons would be the all time greatest influence. I’ll be the asshole who specifies seasons two through nine that absurdity is reflected in our stuff.
Kyle: Simpsons is big. I really like the movie Ghostbusters.

What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?

Andy: I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle, seeing my friends, and performing with my main awesome Austin dudebro, Kyle Sweeney.
Kyle: Oh man, you shouldn’t have.
Andy: Hey Kyle, is there anything specific you are looking forward to?
Kyle: Oh yeah, um Superego, Paul F Tompkins, Ennis & Kaye,
Andy: Anyone hometown favorites?
Kyle: Sure! Your Terrific Neighbors don’t disappoint. And I can’t forget my main man’s STAG, right Mac?

Thanks, Kyle.

The P! Company is performing Wednesday May 22, 10pm at the SpiderHouse Ballroom along with The Austin Comedy Hour and Joe Hafkey.

Get to Know: The P! Company

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.