Opening Remarks at the 3rd Annual Tremendousfest Improv Festival, by Lauren Church

improvHello everyone, and welcome to the 3rd Annual Tremendousfest Improv Festival! I am, of course, Randall Howard, Head of the Tremendousfest Committee, and I want to start by thanking everyone here today to help us kick off Billings’ paramount improv experience of the year! There will be plenty of classes and shows and special guests this year so we’re preeeetty pleased with ourselves, ­and we’re sure you will be too!

Now! We’ve really grown a lot since last year’s fest, so let me start by explaining to everyone where this year’s three performances spaces are.

Stage One will be at Tremendousfest Headquarters at the Impact Theatre. This will not only be where Saturday’s headliner shows will be, but it's also the location of tonight’s Kick Off Soiree, the Friday Night Mixer, the Saturday Night Social, and Sunday Night’s Wrap Up Party! Also, Stage One is sponsored this year by our good friends at The Listless Frog Microbrewery, who are encouraging everyone to drink responsibly and to remember that your Tremedousfest wristband gets you a free shot with every draft purchase! Okay!

Stage Two is at the Underground Cellar Theatre. Now, I know, the Underground IS about 20 minutes away from Impact and they’re doing construction on the water main that runs next to their parking lot. But they’re going to have a lot of great groups over there, so besuretocheckthatout. Oh! Almost forgot! Stage Two’s sponsor this year is Pauli’s Pizza. “When you have a craving inside you, ol’ Double P is all you need!” READ MORE


We Promise Terry Isn’t the Author, by Luke Strickler

terryTerry is not the author, nor is he a reference to the author.

Terry is not any one of the author’s friends, a person who considers themselves a friend of the author, lost love, personal trainer, or you, Greg, so stop asking.

Terry’s name is not to be broken apart to find a hidden message, as the word “Retry” has no relation to the author other than his failed Candy Crush level.

Terry’s name is not an acronym or initialism, although both he and the author know the difference, and will bring it up in conversation.

Terry is 27 years old, which is too young to be a reminder of lost youth, too old to relate to the author, and 38 years short of being eligible for the senior discount at Ruby Tuesdays, of which the author is also ineligible.

Terry’s age does not represent the mental state of the author, as he does not feel that his mental state should be described as a number, but merely, “a constant nightmare.”

Terry is a white male of tall height, which is similar to that of the author, but who swears it’s just because Terry has two tall, white parents, most likely named Bryce and Molly. READ MORE


Snow Globe Weather Forecast, by Alonso Cisneros

snowglobeSunday: Snowstorm. Flurries.
Clear and sunny skies on this warm morning, suddenly followed by a snowstorm after someone shakes the snow globe for a few seconds. Prepare for it to snow relentlessly for no meteorological reason whatsoever, except for someone shaking the snow globe for the fun of it. Flurries expected for the rest of the day.

Monday: Snowstorms throughout the day.
Snow globe shaken over the course of the day, ranging from lazily to mildly, resulting in high winds and violent snowstorms across the area. Most likely to receive the same two inches of snow that always lies on the surface of the globe. Don't bother shoveling or calling plow services. The snow will settle back onto your driveways by the end of the night.

Tuesday: Snowstorms throughout the day.
Power outages expected. Snowstorm heading in from the northwest when a guy moves in on the snow globe and shakes it. He will come back numerous times, somehow receiving joy in inflicting damage on the town with more snowstorms. Power outages are expected throughout the area, due to the severity of how hard this man has decided to shake the snow globe. READ MORE


The Original Paleo Diet, by Keith Wisniewski

meatZogg thank you all for coming to Zogg’s cave. Zogg has some big news to share. Sure, Zogg may not have come up with idea for fire, but Zogg have pretty good idea to stay trim and healthy. Zogg call it the Paleo Diet.Zogg know this works, because Zogg used to be what you call “big boned,” but is now in shape. Zogg even have “six pack” and is getting all the ladies in the Eurasian subcontinent, thanks to this diet. And you can, too. It’s so simple, even a Neanderthal could follow it.

Step one: Eat meat.There, Zogg teach you everything about Paleo Diet!

Zogg kidding, of course. Zogg have highly developed sense of humor for his tribe. There more to it than that. The first thing you need to do is catch some meat. This harder than it seems, because meat doesn’t like to be caught. In high school, Zogg held the state record for javelin. So, Zogg use those skills to hunt wild animals with spear. Zogg so good he can hit a rabbit at 40 yards. But, if you aren’t as good as Zogg with spear, Zogg suggest clubbing raccoons when they tip over your garbage can. Zogg says you’re welcome.

Besides rabbit, Zogg likes to eat bear, wildebeest, dire wolf, badger, you name it. But, Zogg’s favorite dish is giraffe. On Zogg’s Paleo Diet, you can eat foot after foot of delicious giraffe neck and not gain any weight. Hey, Atoouk, who’s the genius now? (Atoouk invent the wheel.) READ MORE


A Spencer's Gifts Manager Chastises the Staff, by Lucas Gardner

SAMSUNGAlright guys, team meeting. Let's make this quick, 'cause we've got some fucking strobe lights to sell.

Listen, I can't be here to manage this Spencer's Gifts all the time, and I need you guys to be able to run things on your own when I'm not around. Quite frankly, this staff ain't up to par right now. Most of you come in late and leave early. Maybe you think I'm not able to see you coming and going when the fog machine is running inside the store, but I've been working in this store for four years and I can basically see right through the fog now.

I need you guys to put in a lot more effort around here. When I came in today the place was in goddamn shambles. First of all, the life-sized Ron Burgundy cardboard cutout up front had its BACK to the entrance. I know that this always confuses you guys, but if you can see the front of the Ron Burgundy cutout from inside the store, that means the foot traffic outside can't.

Whoever is in charge of stocking the shelves on any particular day, please GROUP THINGS APPROPRIATELY. Ask yourself, should the bondage kits be stocked next to novelty “Small Pecker” Condoms? NO! One is sexy, and one is funny. Please group them accordingly. The place is a mess. We got beer pong kits on the Family Guy T-shirt shelves, the fake dog shit next to the sex handcuffs, the body jewelry next to the Poo Identification Manual books. How is anyone gonna know where to find anything? Don't just throw merchandise wherever you feel like. This is a Spencer's Gifts, not a Goodwill.

If a lava lamp breaks on the floor, don't just fucking leave it. Please mop it up immediately. And it's not real lava, guys. I can't have my staff running for cover every time a lava lamp breaks, like you all did today when that customer's backpack knocked one off the display shelf.



Family Meeting About Jason, Who is Back From the Dead, by Matthew Johnson

jasonHello everyone. I'm glad we were all able to make some time in our busy schedules for this family meeting. Are we all comfortable? Did you get a sample of the new baked macaroni that we are going to be taste-testing for dinner Tuesday and Thursday this week? Your sister, my princess-star Lucy, is passing out the agendas for today’s meeting. As you’ll see, we will begin with Opening Remarks and then move on to Greeting and Open Agenda. After that, I’d like us to get to our first item of the day, which is making a switch from Capri Sun pouches to mini-PowerAdes at Blake’s soccer game this Saturday. From there we need to move to room-cleaning regulations. I know! I know! We just discussed this. But it's not coming from me. We have your grandmother coming in next week and we cannot risk another Thanksgiving ’09. Finally, we will need to discuss your much older brother Jason’s move to the attic because he is now a ghost and has returned home.

On that note, I am going to pass out some "Thought Journals" so you can document your feelings of Jason’s return from the dead, per the suggestion of my therapist.

First, Opening Remarks. I want to say thank you to everyone for pitching in at your mother’s Spring Cleaning event this past Sunday. We cleaned out the attic and were able to rack up $56.67 in tax-deductible donations. The house looks much nicer, feels less cluttered, and we were finally able to take care of those Christmas lights. I’m sorry if the cleaning took everyone by surprise, but since your brother Jason has returned from the dead, your Mother uses bleach and a toothbrush on the baseboards as a coping skill.

Next, your Mother has informed me that some things will be changing about post-school snack time. As you all know, your mother is generally here and provides you with an afterschool snack; marshmallow fluff sandwiches have been trending as the most popular. However, because of Jason’s shocking return as an apparition, she will be returning to Dr. Simmons for her bi-weekly therapy sessions. Your brother Jason has offered to distribute the snacks as long as they are pre-made, because he is unable to manifest the energy to make a PB&J with no crusts the way Lucy likes it.



Son, This ‘Monopoly’ Investment Scheme Is No Substitute For a Steady Job, by Adam Bertocci

post-imgSon, we need to have a little talk.

I had someone in my office review your contract. Put bluntly, I have severe reservations about your accepting this job. The obvious concern is your salary. $200 as a base is meaningless without a schedule. If you’re only paid for passing Go, with no guarantees of how often that occurs, then you’re really on commission.

Your mother and I are both, frankly, relieved to see evidence of some gainful employment for you. But companies claiming to offer a salaried position that subsequently treat you as a "permalancer" should be viewed with suspicion. Are you aware that they are not withholding income tax, that you’ll be expected to handle it yourself? I won’t even comment on your ill-proportioned understanding of what taxes and costs you expect to incur. You think your medical expenses will total $50 when your so-called job provides no health insurance—and yet you also expect enough earnings to fret about luxury tax? Where are you getting this information?

In this vein, a host of red flags in your career plan and lifestyle have not escaped our attention. First off, try to limit your rent to one-fourth of your salary. A house on St. Charles Place is in your price range. A sprawling estate on Illinois Avenue is not.

This leads me to the issue of your real estate venture.

We will dispense with the question of your $1,500 startup costs, which I hope you’re not expecting us to provide. READ MORE


The Family's New Coat of Arms, by Jake Tuck

coatThanks for coming to the unveiling of the new Pepperton family coat of arms, the updated representation of our clan’s history and values. I have personally designed it to both carry on the ancient tradition of our name and account for our place in the modern world.

Back in the old country, heraldic devices helped us promote our family’s brand. The area peasants needed to be able to easily tell who was winning the jousts or commandeering their stocks of grain. Now we can use it for things like family reunion T-shirts, or as a logo for Pepperton Appliances, once a regional retail giant, now a front for Uncle Barry’s adopted son’s sweepstakes scams.

So now I will take off this sheet and reveal the coat of arms. There it is! I know, it’s so beautiful that applause or even recognition of its existence seems pointless.

Now, since most of you are probably a bit rusty with heraldic symbols, I’ll explain the elements that make up a coat of arms. First, there is the shield, which of course was used in battle by the Peppertons of old, such as during the great Catapult Wars of the 16th century, when we fought several neighboring families over whether or not catapults should be used in wars. We were against them, so you can guess how those wars went. Hence the “no catapults” sign on the shield. Oh and I also included an anthropomorphic dishwasher for you, Uncle Barry.

Nana, you’re leaving already. You were told there would an open bar. I guess you don’t remember the scene at your granddaughter’s wedding. I wonder why that is. READ MORE


A Politician Applies For a Job at McDonald's, by Ben Godar

politicianI am here to announce my application for the position of line cook at this McDonald’s location. You don’t know me, so let me take a moment to introduce myself. There are a few things that set me apart from the other candidates hovering in the lobby and sipping complimentary fountain drinks.

First and foremost, I am a fast food outsider. I did not graduate from McDonald’s University. I have never set foot in one of these places, or any fast food restaurant for that matter. What that means is, I won’t just come in here and accept business-as-usual. I will ask questions. Why do we need to empty the grease trap? How does the cash register work? What is the maximum holding time for a pan of chicken patties?

What I bring to the table is a common-sense, home cook’s approach to making hamburgers. We don’t need some corporate manual and volumes of market research to tell us how to cook a Big Mac. All we need is a hot griddle and old-fashioned American know-how. Also, we will eventually need a bun and toppings, but you see where I’m going with this. READ MORE


Would You Like to Buy a Sack of Bees? by Brian Agler

beeeeeesI know you’re here at the farmers market to buy apples, cucumbers, and various produce—but why don’t you come check out what I have to offer.

Yes, just step over the border of the high-school parking lot, where the rules and regulations of the farmers market don’t apply. I promise you, it will be worth it.

What I’m selling is organic, locally sourced, and better than anything you’ll find in your normal supermarket.

It’s a sack of bees! Angry, excitable bees that you can take home, today! No no, don’t go! Don’t worry, I tied the sack up real tight. The bees won’t get out.

I’m sorry, I think you’re misunderstanding. These sacks aren’t filled with honey, or beeswax. They are filled to the brim with bees. Actual bees.

Do you hear the buzzing? That’s the bees.



Is He Marriage Material, or Is He a Herman Miller Aeron Chair? by Thomas Scott

chairIs there anything worse than spending time with a guy who at the end of the day just isn’t interested in a serious commitment? Actually, there is: dating a guy who isn’t interested in existing with you on any real plane of consciousness, because he’s a luxury brand office chair. Here are some helpful pointers to make sure you don’t make that mistake!

Tip #1: Google his name.

Before you even go out on date, do a quick search. A name alone can sometimes give you an idea of his character. If his name is Herman, be a little cautious. If his given name is Miller, that’s okay,  but if it’s his surname be a little wary. If his name is Herman Miller Aeron Chair, cancel the date immediately, because he’s a chair.

Tip #2: Touch him.

When you first meet, be sure to grab a feel. It doesn’t have to be creepy. A handshake will suffice. Try to grab a feel near the torso. The point is to ensure that you are going on a date with a man, and not a Herman Miller Aeron Chair with a polo shirt pulled over it.



The Dead Dog Farm Upstate, by Luke Pohjala

farmYou’ve probably been told it before, sometime in your childhood: “Buster (or any other dumb, thoughtless dog name) had to go to a farm upstate. Don’t cry. He’ll have plenty of room to run around in the fresh air. He’s in a better place now.” By now you’ve realized that was a lie. This probably made you question lots of things your parents told you. Will you really grow big and strong if you eat your vegetables? Do they actually love you? Will we really get there when we get there? The truth is that anything your parents told you was, in some way, a lie.

But I’m here to tell you they weren’t completely lying when they said Buster was sent to a farm upstate. He actually was sent to a farm. I know this because I own that farm. The part they lied about is that your dog is still alive. I can assure you your dog is dead, but is still being put to good use.

You may ask why I accept all these dogs. That’s a very good question. Pat yourself on the head for that one. Who’s a good boy? You are! READ MORE


I Apologize For Your Negative Hotel Experience, by Jon Wolper

hotelDear Ms. Winters,

Thank you for your letter. Hopefully I can help resolve some of the issues you experienced while staying at our hotel.

As you wrote, your troubles began at night, when you found that our ice machine was empty. Our apologies. We try to run a tight ship, but sometimes things fall through the cracks. I promise to be more vigilant about the ice machine in the future.

After you went back to your room, you began to hear incessant banging coming from the walls and ceiling. Our building is very old, and the walls are thin, so the noises made by other guests were heard clearly. Thank you for your concern; we’re currently in the process of soundproofing the room.

Then, objects began to rattle, seemingly of their own volition. At one point, the 36-inch flat screen TV that had been mounted on the wall detached itself from the mount and crashed to the floor. A vase hovered in the air for several seconds before launching itself across the room and hitting the wall just inches from your head. All the while, a low drone filled the room.

Our apologies. That noise is, in fact, the cry of a restless spirit that has haunted the room for nine decades. His name was Gerritt Richards, and he was a hospitality mogul poisoned by his wife when she discovered his infidelity. We call him Gerry. READ MORE


This Candlelight Vigil Is In Full Effect!, by Django Gold

candlelightAlright! Yeah! Now that's what I'm talking about! Ladies and gentlemen, I heard this candlelight vigil was going to be off the chain, but even I didn't see this one coming. It looks like just about everyone in Bloomdale came out tonight, and I know all you crazy party animals have only got one thing on your minds: finding Caitlin Ashfield and bringing her home safe and sound! Woo!

You know, when I first learned that one of our own had been reported missing, I knew what we had to do for our beloved daughter, sister, friend, and Bloomdale High School classmate: throw the wildest, rowdiest, most ass-kicking candlelight vigil the world has ever seen — and you people did not disappoint! Because if there's one thing we do in this town, it's support each other in times of need, and that means raising the roof! Am I right? You know I am! So let's make some noise! Let me hear you scream if you're pumped about finding Cait-linnnnn!

Woo! Now let's see those candles, people! Light 'em up, light 'em up! Yeah, it's like a big ol' Christmas tree out there. Here in Bloomdale, we do CVs the right way; here, it's go big or go home. You know what they say: Ain't no vigil like a Bloomdale vigil, 'cause a Bloomdale vigil don't stop! Until we have our Caitlin back, that is. READ MORE