The Grawlix's five best comedy shorts
For nearly two years the Nix Brothers and The Grawlix comedy team have been producing mind-burstingly good short films for the web that also screen each month at the Grawlix's Bug Theatre comedy show. With a trio of hyper-real characters that play off each other with a juvenile cruelty and self-debasement, the web series takes a conceptual cue from The Office. It acts as a faux-documentary profiling three goofball comics from Denver -- while also slipping in a few episodes of random weirdness that have nothing to do with anything.
As these comics close the chapter tonight with their season finale episode -- which will be screened at the Bug Theatre at 10 p.m. -- we thought we'd take a look back at our favorite moments in the Grawlix catalogue, reviewing all the childish cruelty these three monsters have inflicted on each other over the years.
5. Miller Time
When "Yogi Bear 3D's T.J. Miller" returns to Denver to perform at Grawlix, he insists that show's comedy producers keep up with him in a bacchanal of hard drugs and 3.2 beer. But the Hollywood prodigal son hadn't expected a drunken confrontation with Adam Cayton-Holland, who calls Miller a hypocrite for claiming Mile High pride when everyone knows he became famous after he left. This leads to a "Denver-Off," where the two natives spar with each other in a boxing ring of civic pride.
4. Misery Loves Company
Showcasing Ben Roy's keen sense of madness and Andrew Orvedahl's impeccable ability to fuck things up, "Misery Loves Company" takes a weirdly sadistic turn into Stephen King territory (Roy's home-state macabre master) when Cayton-Holland contracts the flu with his time-bomb buddy, the two of them slipping into a game of torture-the-mouse while their comedy teammate Orvedahl screws up a Hollywood meeting by suggesting they want to do a horror film. "How are we going to do a horror film?" Cayton-Holland asks when he returns, while tied to a bed after nearly losing his legs to a sledge-hammer-wielding Roy.
3. Open Mic
Rarely do the Grawlix have any kind of conceptual angle to their skits, but "Open Mic" takes on a provocative fourth-wall commentary that identifies the line between on-stage comedian and real-life human being. Following Roy's refusal to be recorded by his ex-wife, the boom-operator (played by actual wife Crystal Allen), Roy takes to carrying a stage mic with him everywhere he goes, claiming he's now "always on" as a comedian.
When Cayton-Holland tries the same thing, hanging out at the Denver Bicycle Cafe with mic in hand and behaving as though he's performing standup, he gets a sobering P.C. slap in the face. After he calls Roy and Orvedahl a couple of "faggots," Cayton-Holland is kicked out of the cafe, while protesting that "no, that wasn't me saying faggot. I know it's a hateful term. That was the comedian character saying it."
Continue reading for our two top picks.