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A few loose screws

Blogger Scott Pukos kicks off his Fringe festivities with some comic relief

A few blocks away from Circus Orange lighting up the Rochester sky with a combination of fire and spectacle, five dudes and a lady were making me laugh.


The Nuts and Bolts improv team relies on wit over pyrotechnics, which is great, because imagination can be just as thrilling—if not more so—than a mutant tricycle blasting flames in the air (and that’s not a knock, I think that tricycle is AWESOME).


I’ve always been a fan of improv shows — I usually end up guffawing out loud (GOL). One the funniest hours of my life was seeing Second City perform in Chicago. I’ve seen some great comedy locally, too, including Pandas and Fake Snow at The Village Gate. So, when I was looking up Fringe performances, I scoured the schedule for comedy shows.


Nuts and Bolts didn’t disappoint. There was a lot of audience interaction too, which also amps up the fun at these type of gigs.


The MC for the show was News10 NBC meteorologist Rich Caniglia. (Since I work for a rival station, News 8, I’m contractually obligated to write his name in snark font. Apologies for that.) He helped with the audience/comedian connection and kept things running smoothly.


As a journalist, I was intrigued by the sketch which spoofed a local newscast. The audience was asked to shout out real situations that happened to them recently. One woman’s problem of the day was that she was hit on while walking her dog by a gentleman she described as a “hobo peeing behind a dumpster.”


The Nuts and Bolts team got some solid laughs out of this (pretty good) setup, including an entertaining hot take from the woman’s dog on the whole situation. A real television station probably wouldn’t spend ten minutes in the A-block on the “pee-demic,” but I’ll let it slide.


The biggest GOLs of the night came when audience members yelled out inanimate objects, and the improv team compared these things to members of the opposite sex. (Example: “I like my women like I like my chainsaw…”) As you can probably guess, things escalated quickly. This brought out the competitiveness of the comedians as they tried to top each other in a gloriously raunchy fashion.


It turns out I know one of the Nuts and Bolts members; someone I went to college with that I haven’t seen since, well, college. These types of “small world” encounters never fail to be awesome.


A great start to Fringe Festival for me.


Follow Scott Pukos as he tweets through the festival: @ByScottPukos

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