QuakeCon 2011: Master Pancake Theater returns

Putting pancake and gut-buster in the same sentence normally means having a breakfast binge at the Original House of Pancakes, but for QuakeCon regulars, it’s a night of uncontrollable laughter. This year, whether you’re a QuakeCon newb or grizzled veteran, don’t miss out on Master Pancake Theater’s performance of Twilight — Friday night at 9:oo pm!

Whether your Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team No Thanks, we assure you it’ll be hilarious. Until then, here’s an interview with two-thirds of your evening entertainment, John Erler and Ben Bartley.

How’d you guys meet?

BEN: I met Joe in 2000 at a ComedySportz Austin audition. I met John in 2002 at the Sinus Show where I filmed the shows. Our first Master Pancake show together was Breakfast Club in 2007. I have been in love with them ever since.

JOHN: I still haven’t met the other guys in the group. We normally just assemble a second before the movie starts playing. Then when it’s over we disappear silently into the night.

When did you guys know that spoofing movies was your calling?

BEN: You are assuming too much. Drinking beer is “my calling”. Spoofing movies is something I do because I drink beer.

JOHN: I’ve been mocking movies in public since 2000. The first time I felt like I could really make a living at it was in 2001 when we mocked Xanadu as part of the now defunct Sinus Show at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Up until then we had had mixed results and thin crowds. But for our Xanadu mock we had people lining up around the block to get in. That was really exciting. And weird. I mean, Xanadu? But it was a great show and from then on I knew we could do it.

Is there one scene you’ve done that stands out as your finest work?

JOHN: There’s a scene in Terminator involving Sarah Connor’s pet iguana. We don’t do anything except make a weird noise everytime the iguana opens its mouth, but it might be the biggest reaction we’ve ever gotten for anything. It slayed every single time.

How does the QuakeCon crowd compare with other audiences?

BEN: QuakeCon is my absolute favorite crowd of the year. Finally, someone will get my SQL and Unix jokes. I wish I could do a QuakeCon show every weekend.

JOHN: We love the QuakCon crowd. They are some of our best audiences, hands down. They are enthused about what we do and there’s so much great nerd juice and excitement during QuakeCon anyway that we’re just lucky to be able tap into that. Not only do they love the big jokes, but you can count on them to get most of the more obscure references too, especially video game references. I think we had a minor joke about Duck Hunt one year. Most crowds in Austin didn’t give that joke the time of day. But when we did it at QuakeCon we almost got a standing ovation for it.

Do you guys have a favorite QuakeCon memory?

BEN: I liked walking around the BYOC last year. Awesome hardware.

Would you ever consider doing a game-to-stage adaptation of QUAKE?

BEN: You’re assuming I haven’t already done that.

JOHN: No question about it. Of course, we’re so old-school we’d rather do an adaptation of Pong. That’d be easy. Just dress two of us up in tall white tubes and get an audience volunteer to be the ball. It’d be fun to bat him/her back and forth. Actually, now that I think of it, a live version of Space Invaders would be fun too. The audience could just sit in their seats and pulsate while we fired t-shirts at them from behind bunkers.

What can attendees expect out of you guys this year?

BEN: Nudity. And, I’ll be drunk.

JOHN: Well, besides the jokes during the movie we’ve got a really fun skit that involves an audience volunteer. Anyone who is eager to play the part of Bella should start honing their chops now and preparing a convincing 2-sentence pitch to the audience.

Team Jacob or Team Edward?

JOHN: Neither. I’m Team “Guy in Van who almost runs over Bella in the first 15 minutes of the movie”.

BEN: Team “This-Movie-Is-Sodomizing-the-Vampire-Genre”… also, Team Jacob ’cause I like hairy dudes.

Thanks guys!

Comments are closed.