Surprise entrances, wacky suggestions and energetic DJs could only mean one thing: Fantastiprov’s third-annual “X-Rated Show.” More than 200 students filled Choi Auditorium the night of April 8 to watch Fantastiprov, Occidental’s only comedic improv troupe, in their biggest show of the year. Unlike other Fantastiprov shows, “X-Rated” is is more sexual in nature. For this show, Fantastiprov partnered with the Planned Parenthood Club to promote sex positivity — all proceeds were donated to Planned Parenthood.
Fantastiprov President and Co-Founder Danny Scharar (senior) explained that the group puts the most rehearsal hours and production value into this event because it is their only ticketed show of the year.
“It’s not the show that you’ll see in a dorm common room, and that’s why we make it special. We want it to be a party in Choi,” Scharar said.
Scharar, one of the founders of the “X-Rated” show, explained that the idea for the show came from X-rated comedy shows in his native Las Vegas. He explained that Occidental’s version was inspired by the Las Vegas shows’ sexual innuendos and dangerous elements like mouse traps and extra spicy hot sauce.
Fantastiprov members were surprised by the large turnout for the first “X-Rated Show” in 2015. The performance the following year also drew a large audience and, because the club did not need all of the funds, they donated half of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. This year, after noting Planned Parenthood’s need for donations, they will donate all of their proceeds to the organization.
Natalie Myers (junior) worked as the liaison between Planned Parenthood Club and Fantastiprov, even participating in one of the X-Rated show’s games where she bought sex toys for the improvisers to create scenes with. After the recent presidential election, Myers noticed an increased amount of donations to the organization.
“There’s definitely been an increased public support and awareness for Planned Parenthood which has been amazing to see in the face of all the terrible things that have been said against [the organization],” Myers said.
The troupe did not hesitate at some of the more memorable audience suggestions. When asked for something one would not want to hear during sex, one audience member shouted, “I love you.” They also asked for something someone would leave in their friend’s car for too long and the audience shouted, “a goldfish.”
Fantastiprov encouraged audience participation with designated seating zones: the roast zone, the toast zone, the cash zone and the splash zone. Audience members especially enjoyed the second half of the show, hooting and hollering when ASOC President Paul Charbonneau (sophomore) sat in the roast zone and was spoon-fed spicy hot sauce.
According to Camile Wyss (junior), Fantastiprov unveiled two new games they invented just for this show called “Get Saucy” and “Groiny-Porny.” In “Groiny-Porny,” the players create a clean scene based on an audience suggestion that increasingly gets more sexual as the moderator yells “more” or reverts back to a clean scene at the phrase “mom’s home.” At the suggestion of the audience, Scharar, Josh Harmon (senior) and Cooper Raiff (sophomore) created a scene that took place in the financial aid office.
Wyss explained that they wanted to add more danger to the show, which inspired the “Get Saucy” game. Three players improvised a scene while other Fantastiprov members fed them shots of increasingly spicier hot sauce. Wyss said her favorite danger game was called “Oxygen Deprivation” where three players improvise a scene, but one has their head submerged under water. The performers took turns dunking their faces in water throughout the scene.
“I love to pretend drown myself, as a lifeguard I find this hilariously ironic,” Wyss said.
The troupe rehearsed biweekly to keep their improv skills and imagination in top shape for the show. Without an audience during rehearsals, group members provide suggestions for each other. Elliot Davis (sophomore) noted that these suggestions are usually much weirder than any suggestions they would get during a show. Davis explained that Harmon has a tendency to combine different suggestions into one — if one person suggested shopping cart and another said the moon, Harmon would say a shopping cart on the moon.
Davis also said that they try to push each other so that they are prepared for anything the audience might say.
“Expect the unexpected. After all, it’s improv, who knows what’s going to happen,” Davis said.
Fantastiprov’s next show will be their “Senior Send off” for the four seniors in the troupe: Scharar, Harmon, Mac Larsen and Miriam Hamburger.** According to Scharar, it will be a more casual show, but it will be just as funny.
*Greg Feiner is a staff writer for The Occidental Weekly
**Miriam Hamburger is an illustrator for The Occidental Weekly