Archive for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kill the DJ to compete in championship

April 8, 2009

For Ben Brest, comedy was just something that came natural to him and something he continuously did at home with his family of eight.

“My parents had just about enough of it and finally said, ‘we’ll pay for you to take these workshops at Comedy City. You can keep doing it, but if they don’t want you, you have to cut it out and chill out at home,’ Brest said. “It kind of back fired on them.”

This weekend the 2004 Tonganoxie High School graduate and his comedy troupe Kill the DJ will meet with 2006 THS graduate Garrett Kelly and his group Those People, as well as a third troupe, Babel Fish, for the final round of a fierce laugh battle at the Improv Thunderdome.

Since January, the Westport Coffeehouse, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo., has been home to the third season of the Improv Thunderdome. Each team gets 30 minutes to compete and at the end it is up to the audience members to vote on their favorite.

Brest said this was the first season the group has ever competed in the contest. Brest, Jeremy Alexander, Johnathon Bender and Charley Belle won this season’s first round on Jan. 10. Those People won the third round.

After he graduated in Tonganoxie in 2004 Brest went to Johnson County Community College for two years before joining the Army. After the Army he enrolled at Kansas University where he is now pursuing a degree in business administration.

He said he didn’t really know a lot about improv before he started three years ago, but since then he hasn’t been able to get enough and has joined other improv groups in Kansas City and in Lawrence, where he currently lives.

He has even gotten his dad involved.

“He doesn’t know a whole lot about improv,” Brest said. “When I first started he would say, ‘show me how to improv’ and it would just go horribly wrong. My sister and mom would be watching and cracking up.”

Brest loves comedians such as Eddie Izzard, Steve Martin and Steve Carell, but said he tries not to do that stuff on stage because it would look like he was just quoting comedians.

He said Kill the DJ’s humor is dark like in the movie “Fargo,” and fast-paced.

Even though it will only be his second time performing at the coffee house Brest said he was ready to make some sides split and compete with the other two troupes.

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