by John Stoehr
Normally, Hot Sauce, a trio featuring Robot Chicken's Ben Schwartz, isn't really surprised by a person from audience who's invited on stage to share some personal history. This time, the improv and sketch artists were surprised in ways they likely could not have imagined. No matter what they say about New Yorkers, that they are jaded about everything and that for them there's nothing new under the sun, it seems the South remains the land of the strange, the bizarre, and the unexpected.
The man's name was Brandon and his mother was a very "friendly" sort, he said, so much so that he was one of some 21 siblings, many of whom he never knew existed until early adulthood. Same with his father. The old man got in touch when he saw his kid's picture in the paper saying that he won a scholarship. His grandmother raised Brandon for a little while. She was the secretary for the high school nurse, even though she was a terrible typist. His big brother liked to play games like shooting Brandon in the back with a pellet gun and then telling mom Brandon was misbehaving.
Or something like that. I don't remember all of it. I do remember that Hot Sauce looked worried that they were being upstaged by this redneck from Dillon, S.C. Brandon's story was supposed to be the inspiration for a set of improv moments, so that Hot Sauce could get the audience rolling, and otherwise be the center of attention, but Brandon's story, and the severe looks of incredulity on the faces of Schwartz and his cohort, were the real moments of hilarity. "Brandon is killing 'em tonight," they said. "Normally, we get a guy who tells us he stole five bucks. But this guy's telling us he stole five bucks from an ax murderer."
Information: See Hot Sauce tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Charleston Ballet Theatre, $12.50