Comedy act inspired by spoof-worthy news events

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Special to the Journal-World

Right Between the Ears cast members, clockwise from front left, include Andi Meyer, John Jessup, Rick Tamblyn, Teri Wilder, Kip Niven, Jim Moore and Roberta Solomon.

The comedic radio crew known as "Right Between the Ears" rarely finds itself at a loss for tongue-in-cheek material to perform.

"With all the political figures and celebrities stumbling and bumbling about in the news ... well, we could do a show every other day," says Darrell Brogdon, the troupe's founder, producer and head writer.

"Right Between the Ears" will bring its patented blend of political satire and scathing pop culture commentary to Liberty Hall Saturday night. Brogdon says audience members should expect to see up-to-the-minute skits featuring the latest beautiful-people blunders and in-the-news snafus.

"If something big breaks the day before, we'll be all over it," he says. "After all, you never know what Courtney Love might do."

In fact, Love -- the tumultuous vocalist, actress and rock-star widow -- already inspired a skit on tap for tomorrow's show.

"It's called the 'Courtney Love-boat,'" Brogdon says, "and we'll run the Courtney course with it. She'll scream obscenities, throw a few things into the audience and, of course, vomit."

Other parodies penciled in on the performance run-down include a spoof on the new movie, "The Alamo," a tribute to the subtle facial tics of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, a skit probing the recent partnership between Bob Dylan and Victoria's Secret and a sketch in which woebegone politicians Al Gore and Howard Dean engage in some horseplay.

"Should be a real scream," Brogdon says.

"Right Between the Ears," which features a cast of eight area actors, got its start in 1983 on KANU-FM 91.5. The rowdy radio gang was actually known as "The Imagination Workshop" until a few years ago, when Brodgon says the group realized its moniker just didn't work.

"You just couldn't tell what we were about from our name," he says. "More than a few people thought we were a science program for kids."

The on-air posse, however, has achieved considerable success over the past two decades, name change and all. In 2003 alone, "Right Between the Ears" won a gold medal for Best Humor/On-Air Personality at the prestigious New York Festivals and a Golden Reel Award for Best Music/Entertainment Show from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Past Event

Right Between the Ears

  • Saturday, April 17, 2004, 5 p.m.
  • Liberty Hall Cinema, 644 Massachussets Street, Lawrence
  • All ages / $10 - $12

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"Our goal right now is to get national distribution in the next 18 months," says Roberta Solomon, who joined the comedic cast in 1990. "Once that happens, all of our lives are going to change."

Solomon, a recognized voice-over veteran, is also known for her role as Crematia Mortem, the television horror goddess who hosted "Creature Features," a cult television show that ran from 1981 to 1988 on KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Kan.

Solomon says national distribution would mean a demanding new schedule for "Right Between the Ears," which currently performs six to eight shows per season.

"We would need more writers and more time," Solomon says. "But what a fantastic opportunity it would be."

For the immediate future, however, Solomon says "Right Between the Ears" in focused on bringing down the house at Liberty Hall.

"This group was born in Lawrence and we love performing there," she says. "We'll make sure Saturday's show is an hour of solid and crazy laughs."

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