The Onion’s satirical website Clickhole is famous for lists, videos, and articles with titles like “8 Bullshit Cats We Wish Judas Could’ve Betrayed Instead of Christ,” “Inspiring! People Describe the First Time They Drank Gatorade,” and “The Kindest Man Alive: Jon Hamm Makes Crepes For A Beached Whale.” Behind every giggle-inducing page on the site is a staff of writers, editors, and producers who are stepping onstage to show off their chops for The Clickhole Writers Present Amazing: A Live Show.
“We have a certain comedic sensibility that isn’t necessarily tied to the website,” says Jamie Brew, Clickhole head writer. “We get along as a group of comedians, and that’s the most exciting thing for us.”
Amazing: A Live Show commenced with a few dates at the Cards Against Humanity headquarters. At one point the show was a monthly fixture at iO, but now it appears sporadically as one-offs, like the upcoming performance at the Hideout. Like Clickhole and its sister site the Onion, Amazing: A Live Show is an outlet for comedy writers either to be completely nonsensical or to present a serious issue humorously. Digital producer Dan Davis, for instance, will be talking about bike safety during his time onstage. “Bike safety is something that I’m actually interested in and think is important,” Davis says. “But I think there’s a lot of fun to be had when you examine some of the tropes of cycling.”
The staff’s creativity and imagination produces characters like a woman who has her own amateur “Bodies” exhibit in her backyard, or Wett Problem, a doctor who regularly gives presentations on issues that are important to him—performers are rarely, if ever, playing themselves. And unlike a typical stand-up or sketch event, the Amazing: A Live Show is riddled with PowerPoint presentations, videos, and audience interaction.
Fran Hoepfner, digital editor for the Onion and former editorial coordinator for Clickhole, produced the version at Cards Against Humanity but will be performing in the show for the first time at the Hideout. She sees the stage as a testing ground where the staff can explore their oddest interests in a way that they can’t in an online list or article or video. “There’s a cutting-loose feel to all of [the shows], in the safest possible sense,” Hoepfner says. “Everyone is free to be extremely weird and fun, and there’s a lot of joy in how alienating and strange it can be.” v