Its time to put your laugh pants back on as the Goo House slides in a triumphant return after its hiatus last year. The comedy troupe/show/experience will be at Bug Jar this Thursday, June 12th changing the scene from prior BYOB shows at the Yards and Art lofts.
They’ve come a long way since its apartment conception. Co-creator, Mikey Heller explained the beginnings
How did Goo House get started?
My apartment in Ithaca was nicknamed Goo House, like some kind of weird fraternity (Gamma Omecron Omega). My friend Jon Schuta and I would perform stand up as characters for each other and my roommate Tyler. There were a lot of weird ones like Bland Ron, Sanchez Schuta, Master Forrest-Storm the Wizard.
Colin and I were looking to produce a show summer of 2012 and we thought of doing a whole show of characters and calling it Live at Goo House, in reference to my old apartment. Plans kept falling through, and venues weren’t working out. Finally January of 2013 we booked a show at The Yards and brought in everything ourselves, stage, sound, lights, curtain, chairs, everything we’d want for a comedy venue.
It was a big undertaking but it paid off… Goo House started as just a name for the show but eventually became the name of a group of comedians who were the most involved: Myself, Colin Burgess, Jon Schuta, Vasia Ivanov, Lucas Gardner, Charlie Wildey and Dewey Lovett.
Why’d you take the break? And why’d you move to Bug Jar now?
Back in July, Colin moved to New York City. Some of us were heading back to school, others planning to move as well. So we just decided to have one last show in Rochester. We found another studio and got permission to put out a sign and say it was Goo House, like the imaginary venue we would joke about before. It was a great send off. We did old characters, had our favorite comics from upstate perform. A great time.
Immediately after the last show we realized we wish we could do it all over again. I moved to New York City some months later and Colin and I thought it would be fun to organize a reunion show over the next summer. We went with the Bug Jar because all of us had dreamed of doing comedy there. We never thought they would want a comedy show but I think Goo House is the kind of show that would work there. We contacted them and they booked us!
For us, having it at The Bug Jar, where we’ve seen so many shows before, is like a little victory.
that’s that for that answer.
So what should old fans expect at the show and what is new / surprise?
Puddles the Cat Comedian WILL be there. It wouldn’t be a Goo House show without him. Routine Involvements will be our band for the night just like they were for our very first show.
New stuff includes new characters, bits, and comedians we haven’t had on the show before like Samantha Ruddy from Syracuse, Max Levine from Baltimore, Lorelei Ramirez from New York City and Rochester’s own Spencer Sisson. We also have our old friend Pat Kewley from Buffalo coming. We have a lot of crazy stuff planned.
Do you think having it at a bar will change the feel?
I hope not. It’s possible that the bar being there will make people filter in and out from the performance space, so there may not be a completely immersed audience like we’d had with past shows. Then again, we had a show at a bar in Buffalo and it was one of our best ones. The audience was really into it and the show had the same feel, even with the bar. I think the same will happen at the Bug Jar.
What’s your favorite thing about comedy/ Goo House…And what do you think is different about this show than others?
Goo House was a special kind of show in upstate because it was so involved. There was always a lot of preparation and production for really silly and dumb things. It almost became ridiculous as to how much time and effort we would invest in a 5 minute bit about a cat. And everyone brought something new to the shows. Performers and audiences knew that whatever was happening at a Goo House show, they wouldn’t get the chance to see it anywhere else.
As for my favorite part about comedy and Goo House, it was really just hanging out with my friends. The best part about shows or open mics is having fun with everyone afterward.
What did you not expect that happened with Goo House (what were challenges/surprises/wins)?
I didn’t expect so many people to come to the shows! When we started we were hoping to get at least 50 people to a show but at times we easily doubled that.
Also being nominated for Best Comedy Show by City Paper last year. That was super cool.
And doing a show at Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo was a real highlight. It was awesome to see our show work in a major club as well as in small venues, or even house shows.
The most stressful part was setting up. We’d have to assemble the stage, lights, sound stuff all day of the show. And everyone else had to coordinate their bits with each other as well and that usually got done day of the show too. The few hours preceding the show would get pretty hectic. We had plenty of shows where all we had to do was show up and perform so that would be a nice break.
That’s the only real challenge I can think of.
So pretty smooth sailing for a show?
Usually. When things got rolling everything would be fine.
What should everyone else know that I didn’t ask?
Everyone should know that this will be a very special show. If they missed any of the last ones they can get the full experience on June 12th.
And we’re really grateful to the Bug Jar for having us!