My favorite game at ComedySportz is called Five Thingz. (I have no idea if it’s “supposed” to have the “z” on the end, but if it’s good enough for ComedySportz, it’s good enough for the gamez.)
Five Thingz has been described as “charades on crack,” and I think that’s a good start to understanding it. Whichever team plays the game, which is played at almost every single ComedySportz Indianapolis match, sends one player out of the room where he or she cannot hear the suggestions. Then the referee starts by gathering five “active activities” — things that are not just sitting, sleeping, or lying down. Activities can be just about anything. Over the years, I’ve had “playing soccer” countless times, and “performing alchemy” a few times, but “breeding hamsters” only once.
After those activities are gathered, each one is tweaked via the cunning use of substitutions. For example, “playing baseball” might lead the ref to ask for a favorite musical group… and now the activity isn’t just “playing baseball,” but “playing baseball against Counting Crows.” By the time the suggestion-getting is done, the activity might be “playing baseball against the Counting Crows using a camera lens for the bat and Godzilla as the ball.”
All five activities are jazzed up like that, and the player who was sent out now has to come back in and guess them.
In five minutes maximum.
But his or her teammates may not use English… only mime and gibberish (a string of whatever nonsensical syllables fall out of one’s mouth).
Fanz frequently think we’re cheating when we do well. We’re not. There’s no secret language, there’s no earpiece for the player outside, there’s no “plant” giving us the suggestions we want. We just play it a lot and we know how to do it.
This past Friday was my first return to ComedySportz (other than the charity match I did a while back) since Sage was born. My team played Five Thingz. I had never played a match with either of my teammates (Frankie and Eryn) before. I sent Eryn out of the room to be our guesser.
She correctly guessed:
-Eating, using a pencil as the utensil and a shoe as the plate.
-Scrubbing the toilet with a polar bear for a brush and ice cream as the cleanser.
-Rowing a boat made of glass with KISS.
-Changing Woody Woodpecker’s diapers while (the guesser is) wearing a onesie.
She very nearly guessed the last one:
-Playing soccer at the White House, using the head of a statue of George Washington as the ball.
(She guessed “playing soccer at the White House, using Mount Rushmore as the ball.” A totally reasonable guess, considering what we had shown her.)
If you’ve never been to ComedySportz, you should go — even if only to see this game.
(Any questions about it? How we do it? How we practice it? Clues you’d like to see, or have seen and liked?)