SF Sketchfest Presents: The Benson Movie Interruption
'Fifty Shades of Grey' w/ Doug Benson
Plus special guests Aparna Nancherla, Steve Agee, Wyatt Cenac, Scott Thompson
The Castro Theater
San Francisco, CA
January 15, 2017
If there is anything that can unite people in troubling times, there can be nothing better than terrible movies. Now, take one of those terrible movies, place it in a large movie theater (say, The Castro Theater in San Francisco), place five stand-up comedians in the front row, equip them with microphones, and let the hilarity ensue.
The Benson Movie Interruption is a show hosted by the comedy world's very own Doug Benson, and his annual "Movie Interruptions" have become a staple of the SF Sketchfest (such movie delicacies have included the entire Twilight franchise). Benson brings along several comedian friends to sit in the front row of a packed movie theater, and say whatever pops into their mouths during a movie of their choice. This time around, we were joined by comedians Aparna Nancherla, Steve Agee, Wyatt Cenac, and Scott Thompson.
Our movie: Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, that one. The 2015 box office smash, based on the highly erotic first novel (in a series of three) by author E.L. James, about a woman falling in love with a man who wishes to engage in a BDSM-based relationship. While it did well in the box-office (the sequel is set to be released worldwide in only a couple of weeks), it has become quite the punchline among the comedy side of pop-culture. This is where shows like The Benson Interruption come into the picture, and in an incredibly successful way.
From the moment Benson steps out onstage to give the introduction and bring out the guests, the laughs are in full force. Given that all jokes are presented on the fly, as the movie plays in real time, it makes you see how clever each comic truly is and what brand of humor they're able to bring to the table. And of course, it's just an incredibly fun time. The plot of Fifty Shades and the "serious" tone of the film, in addition to how tame the film's sexual content actually is in comparison to the novel, makes it the perfect target for this brand of hilarious commentary.
This will easily go down as one of the funniest events in Sketchfest this year (dare I say, in Sketchfest history?). Benson finishes the event by saying that we should all come back next year and join him to watch Fifty Shades Darker together. I might just take him up on that offer.