Roman Danylo wants to make one thing clear right away.
Though the Comic Strippers is based on the real-life troupes of sexy men dancing naked, the show planned for the University of Victoria on Nov. 14 features neither nudity or, the way Danylo tells it, sexy men.
“Our comedy bodies will make the guys (in the audience) look good,” Danylo says, emphasizing the show is for both men and women over 18 and promising no one will be subjected to “horrible thongs.”
The show is essentially professional improv comedy set in the absurd world of male strippers.
It’s more Whose Line is it Anyway? than Thunder from Down Under.
“We’re often looking for genres of entertainment to spoof,” Danylo said, explaining that the world of male strippers and the insane energy generated by the audience were ripe for parody.
In the past, targets have included such low-hanging objects of silliness as Star Trek and entertainment television.
The Comic Strippers’ plot is based on a troupe of strippers – all named Chip — trying to break into other careers. The concept has proved wildly popular and kept the cast of some of Canada’s best improv comedians touring the country.
“We’re all in our mid-40s so there’s a lot of concern about how often we can do this,” said Danylo. “(We’ve had) a lot of visits to the chiropractor.”
The show is a high-energy performance right out of the gate. That all-out approach in place of more traditional pacing has been a hit with audiences.
“I’ve never had anything close to it,” said Danylo, who has performed for Comedy Inc. and toured with Just for Laughs.
“We’re going to do it as much as we can before our knees give out.”
During the show, actors take suggestions from the crowd and turn them into comedic situations. In between, the comics perform dance routines that are definitely more about funny than sexy.
Throughout it all, the public plays along with the “squeaky clean” fun. “It’s almost like our audience is playing the role of these crazy audiences we’ve all heard about at these male stripper shows.”
The Victoria show actually marks a return to UVic, which hosted the Comic Strippers on its 2014 tour. The troupe’s next four shows are on Vancouver Island, with performances planned for Duncan and Courtenay as well as in Sidney on Nov. 13 before the UVic show on Nov. 14.
After that, the troupe is off to California.