by John Stoehr
I was thinking about it. The picture we used to illustrate the story for The Josh and Tamra Show isn't quite right. It looks too cutesy, too much like the show's for kids. It's not, trust me. Here's the full interview with some video above of Josh and Tamra in the park asking people about the Grammy Awards. If you were to choose a winner, who would you fuck, who would you marry and who would you kill? Right, not for kids. They perform tonight at Theatre 99 at 7:30 p.m.
Meat Puppets Meet Puppets
Snarkier than Avenue Q, smarter than Crank Yankers
By Kinsey Labberton
“You’re going to see awesome!”
That’s how Josh of The Josh and Tamra Show pitches their “45 minute, long form, improv with puppets, comedy duo.”
He can’t be half wrong — just look at the surge in puppet popularity.
Avenue Q took home handfuls of Tony awards. Crank Yankers made abuse from a felt mouth plausible. And then there was Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
The Josh and Tamra Show, however, is a new twist on the very old art.
One girl, five puppets. Josh does all the puppet voices and manipulations.
“Initially he did the dress-in-all-black thing so you didn’t know it was him,” Tamra says. “But the face mask looked like a Ku Klux Klan hat.”
That idea was quickly nixed. Today, Josh is totally visible and it doesn’t appear to break the fourth wall. Tamra plays herself and interacts with characters such as Grandpa, Sarah Bear, Buddy, and, yes, Retarded Baby.
“Each character has an identity,” Josh says.
Buddy is the loafer of the bunch. Sarah Bear is a cute yet neurotic carnivore who can’t control herself when salmon is in sight. The curmudgeonly Grandpa is most life-like, according to Josh.
“I’ve had people come up to me after the show and be like, ‘Grandpa is hilarious!’” he says. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah that was me.’”
In other words, it’s the man behind the mask who’s making it all work.
But why puppets?
Both had a background in improv and then Josh got a job with the Jim Henson Company. Afterward, they decided to incorporate the hand-held characters into improvised routines.
Seven years later, they appear on the brink of major success. The Josh and Tamra Show is poised to pitch a sitcom version of their act called Apartment 413 to major networks.
“The writers strike has slowed things down a bit,” Tamra says
Meanwhile, you can preview Apartment 413 at www.joshandtamra.com.
The Josh and Tamra Show
Sat. Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
280 Meeting St.
(843) 514-ETIX, www.etix.com