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Pop Filter Hot Pick: Laugh into the abyss with the Wham City Comedy Tour

Wham City Comedy tour stops by Pittsburgh's Melwood Screening Room at Pittsburgh Filmmakers this Wednesday at 8PM. Tickets are available here.

Part of the reason Baltimore-based arts collective Wham City has received national recognition is because its brand of homegrown weirdness and bohemian stability has flourished outside the classic arty hotbeds of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco for the past ten years. While most of that recognition was garnered by Wham City founder/musician/multi-tasker Dan Deacon, who has been touring and acting as Wham City’s ambassador since his 2007 breakthrough album 
Spiderman of the Rings, Deacon’s music is just the tip of the collective's creative output. Wham City boasts a rotating cast of visual artists, playwrights, authors, filmmakers and comedians, and now their touring comedy troupe is taking its turn in the spotlight.

The Wham City Comedy Tour comes to the Melwood Screening Room at Pittsburgh Filmmakers this Wednesday, ready to showcase their singularly offbeat, cutting vision of humor that’s more influenced by the nightmarish, burnt-out VHS strangeness of Adult Swim’s Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim than the traditional sketch comedy of Second City or Saturday Night Live. The troupe, comprised of comedians Alan Resnick, Ben O’Brien, Robby Rackleff and Mickey Freeland, performs a tight (75 minutes) but eclectic multi-media show that features original stand-up, videos, skits and monologues. 

Their best bits don’t usually carry clear punchlines or laugh-a-minute premises, but instead set-up mundane situations that turn into hilariously bizzare and unsettling rabbit holes. Characters possess a kind of terrifying open-endedness that fuels the group’s strangely compelling comedic rhythms. For instance, O’Brien’s Drywall Doug, an affable mid-western drywall contractor potentially experiencing an existential crisis replete with cryptic, new-agey hallucinations or Resnick’s Ted Talk-ing tech mogul who’s hosting a faux infomercial that shows viewers how to upload their consciousnesses onto computers so they can live on after death. In fact, Resnick’s tech mogul recently made its TV debut as an 11-minute short on Adult Swim last December.

Wham City Comedy is currently celebrating their highest profile to date. Don’t miss this chance to catch their mind-bending live show on their short, month long tour. Tickets are available now at VIA's website. (477 Melwood Avenue, Oakland, www.pghfilmmakers.org)
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