Minneapolis in 2 Days #7: Dudley Rigg’s Brave New Workshop

We only had another day in Minneapolis, and Mike and Peter put their heads together to find another only-in-Minneapolis experience for me. And so they chose Dudley Rigg’s Brave New Workshop, a sketch comedy company.

Now, if you’re been paying attention, comedians are under siege by the over-offended who will present anything out of context to whip up a mob of outrage. So all too often, it decays into “dick” jokes whether at the expense of penises or the lame put-downs of cultural villian du jour. When it doesn’t, the comedians lock down their venue. We saw Carrot Top in Las Vegas last year and he had at least six security guards roaming to make sure no one was taping. He zinged through jokes, some of which could have been taken as offensive: all it would take was one ass to show just that and his career could end.

The Brave New Workshop wasn’t scared. We saw a topical show that skewered everyone. We especially loved “Just Say It” with a Minnesotan who can’t say the exact words of phrases like “I love you,” but rather has an alternate like “Drive home safe now!” It could be done (slightly differently) in Nashville, too. There were jabs at impeachment and the space program, bad wigs, and knowing winks. Like good comedy, even the skits we didn’t like made us think. Comedians aren’t supposed to make us comfortable, but they are supposed to make us laugh.

It was amazing to see comedians being free to fill their role. And if you are offended, take it up with Dudley Riggs.

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