It's a shame The Not Inappropriate Show only comes just around once a year. Parents who want to enjoy absurd, original and non-pandering comedy with their kids will find that most live kiddie sketch shows will make them want to throw themselves under the wheels of the bus. But this brainchild of Bob and Naomi Odenkirk featuring hand-picked comedy sketches not written specifically for kids, is a apple-juice-out-your-node treat. Bob explains more; apparently he talks in caps sometimes.
The Not Inappropriate Show is by now a tradition — what's been some of the best feedback?
Bob Odenkirk: The best feedback is simply that parents and kids 9 and up loved it and laughed together at it — and that there is nothing like it. People come back every year. Naomi has been told by friends that they're amazed that such a simple idea hasn't been done before. People kinda go crazy for it. After the show, Naomi always loves hearing from the kids what they're favorite sketches were.
How is the show different this year?
There are more solo pieces, and the cast are almost all new to the show. The Birthday Boys, Kate Micucci, and Michael Naughton and me are returning, but all the other performers are new, and all the pieces are new. Greg Worswick from the Groundlings, Neil Campbell from UCB, Nate Clark, Corey Podell and Stephanie Allynne — all Groundlings students and in the program — and more are new. There are some good videos, too … including a piece I shot for an Adult Swim pilot: “Harry Podder and the Lost LeBaron.”
You seem like your kids would have cool taste in comedy. Do you let them watch stuff you'd rather they didn't?
Our kids have excellent taste in comedy; Tim and Eric (the clean stuff), Arrested Development, The Office, Simpsons, Cheers, and they've seen just a little bit of Mr. Show that isn't crude. They've actually seen two whole episodes of Mr. Show, but that was as far as I could get before it just got too inappropriate and I told them, “You can watch this when you're 15.” They like Woody Allen and Monty Python, and Erin loves that new show on ABC Happy Endings and Nate loves SNL. But we do keep track of what they're watching and we try to rein it in. They can't watch SNL or South Park unsupervised, and we don't hesitate to fast forward.
At what age is a kid ready for Monty Python?
Monty Python has a high degree of silliness and absurdity — two pillars of young-kid comedy. Watch a bunch of 4th graders being “funny” — it's nonsensical absurdity. “The Ministry of Silly Walks,” the “Hide and Seek Championships” and “Upper Class Twit of the Year,” as well as most of Terry Gilliam's animations, are hilarious at almost any age. But Python can get thick with concepts and references, too. I think it's spotty for kids, but I wouldn't hesitate to show Python to a 5th grader and up. Teach your children well.
Do any of the The Not Inappropriate Show performers feel odd about performing for kids?
No, they love it. Many of them have told us it's their favorite show to perform in. The one thing is, the show is really for kids 9 and up, but occasionally people think it's a “kids show” in the traditional American “Barney” sense … it's not that. If there is a kid too small to understand and they're talking out loud, that can be awkward. It's NOT A KIDDIE SHOW — none of this material was written for kids, it just happens to be “NOT INAPPROPRIATE” for kids, and if your kids are smarty-pants, they will love it … and you can laugh, too.
The Not Inappropriate Show, recommended for ages 9 and up, at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Sun, Dec. 31, 4 p.m.; Mon., Jan. 2, 4 p.m.; $12, benefits 826LA. (323) 908-8702.
Sat., Dec. 31, 4 p.m.; Mon., Jan. 2, 4 p.m., 2011