Another Round of Laughs
The Last Call Cleveland guys serve comedy straight up.
Last Call Cleveland found its name at closing time in a Kent State bar in 1999, back when it was just a sophomoric show on the college TV station. When the group graduated and settled in Cleveland, the West Sixth Street crowd became a regular subject. "Because we actually used to go out," co-founder Mike Polk explains, "as opposed to now, when we just stay home alone and drink and cry." The group's comedy cocktail of skits, musical numbers and videos will be on hand at PlayhouseSquare's 14th Street Theatre Jan. 14, 15, 28 and 29.
Member since: 1999 Where else you've seen him: Most Clevelanders already know how viral his hastily made videos are, but his office-themed Man in the Box Web series, viewed nearly 25 million times, shows his professional act is just as contagious. Favorite material: Channeling his inner Andrew Lloyd Webber, Polk wrote and starred in Michael Stanley Superstar: The Unauthorized Biography of the Cuyahoga Messiah. How he feels about negative reactions to videos like "F**K You, Hipster" and "We are LeBron": "I've built up quite a callous around myself. If I took every comment to heart, I probably wouldn't sleep at night."
Member since: 2004 Where else you've seen him: He plays Matt on Man in the Box and does improv with Second City Cleveland and at Cabaret Dada. Life imitating art: He met his wife at an improv group. "Someone else liked her, and I was trying to be the cool guy." Then a friend wrote a sketch where they would have to kiss. "And she asked me out." Favorite material: "One of my favorites is a song we sing about our friendship with each other. But during the song it's revealed that all the other guys have been sleeping with my wife ... frequently. We start fighting about it all in song." Good thing his wife has a sense of humor.
Member since: 2009 Where else you've seen him: McKenzie plays Man in the Box's pompous bloke British Reggie, who may or may not be from Milwaukee. He listened to BBC on satellite radio to get the accent down. Where else you've heard him: That's his American voice heard on the RTA announcement system. On trying out stand-up: "On stage it's really, really lonely. It's kind of terrifying. I like that." Favorite material: "Four Uncles. We all come out with mustaches and sing a song full of uncle-isms like, 'I play pretty serious softball' and 'I get my license back in May.' "
Member since: 1999 Where else you've seen him: He is Greg's tragically unhip co-worker Terry on Man in the Box, which he directs, edits and helps write. What's next: He's shopping a TV script about a failed sketch comedy group, in which he hopes he won't be playing himself. Favorite material: "We are a male cheerleading squad. We keep yelling for our dads, and we can't understand why they 'can't hear' us." Why Last Call has lasted: "We're not up there for egos or to see our names in lights. We just want to go up there and make people laugh as hard as they can."