Formed in 2006, the two-man comedy duo featuring Lee Lewis and Jason Cooper has a real-life history almost as lengthy as the washed-up musical acts they satirize.
While unwitting audience members may greet the group's alter egos Clive Nelson and Johnny Dregg with requests for "Freebird" and other classic rock staples, Doppelganger specializes in their own "greatest hits," which come in the form of improvised musical numbers based on suggestions from the crowd.
"When we get up there, it's kind of like these stories we keep talking about we believe ... There are things about me playing with Ted Nugent, producing the Olsen twins DVDs and CDs. Clive, Lee's character, being involved with David Bowie, riding around on a Vespa in Europe," says Cooper. "We pick bits and pieces of it and work them into songs as a sort of backstory."
The duo is backed up by their beleaguered stage manager and booth guy Andy Livengood, who works to recreate the live experience from Doppelganger's fictional days filling stadiums within the confines of a smaller venue with a severely limited budget. In many ways, Livengood's main duty is protecting the inflated egos of these past-their-prime rock stars and falling short as a laser light show is replaced with a laser pointer.
Equal parts Spinal Tap and Flight of the Conchords, each Doppelganger performance is different from the last, which keeps things fresh for both the comedians and the audience. For longtime Doppelganger fans holding out hope for an album, Cooper says it'd be fun to release a live album one day to preserve the band's special brand of imagination and inanity.
"Maybe call it Live Dead," he suggests of the hypothetical album, "because it's the last time you're going to hear that." —Dustin Waters
Improv Marathon Featuring Doppelganger! Onesie, Date Night: Getting to Know the Couple
Sat. Jan. 20, 9:30 p.m. The Room on Meeting