In the past eight years, Saint Vitus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn has established itself as one of the premiere heavy metal venues on the east coast. The name alone conjures some of my best show going memories: New Year’s Eve with Dying Fetus, urinating next to Blake from Pig Destroyer and, of course, last month’s Chepang show which ended with a freestyle rap session.
But this past Monday I went to St. Vitus and witnessed something that I never thought I would see in such a space: a comedy show. Not just any comedy show, but a live airing of the metal- and punk-themed, satirical talk show “Two Minutes To Late Night.”
Anyone following comedy or metal right now is well aware that the cross-section between the two is currently experiencing a mini-renaissance. Go to any open mic in Brooklyn and you’re bound to see a guy in an Iron Reagan shirt or, just casually peruse online and you’ll find countless satirical websites and series like The Hard Times and Black Metal Vegan Chef, not to mention the seemingly endless barrage of metal-themed meme pages run by dudes living in their parent’s basement.
But “Two Minutes” is different in that it combines metal and comedy and attempts to fully conceptualize it into a product that can stand on its own while not compromising either of the two art forms it draws from. The show is not a product of internet-based cynicism but rather a product of a group of fans who’s genuine love of this music and accompanying lifestyle shines through all of the absurdities.
On Monday night, the cast and crew were filming their fifth episode, one that happened to be centered around hardcore music, specifically of the female-driven variety. The episode was guest hosted by the character “Hard Melissa,” an endlessly sardonic and terse punk archetype played by local comedian Emily Panic. Other characters included the show’s regular host Gwarsenio Hall (Jordan Olds), Sheena the Straight Edge Witch (Eleanore Pienta) and 2005 Scene Kid (Andy Bustillos). The show was anchored around strong writing and brilliant performances by the actors involved. 2005 Scene Kid in particular was a crowd favorite, making off-the-cuff references from everything from Horse The Band to George W. Bush that had the audience dying with laughter.
The episode culminated with an interview with Brooklyn based hip-hop artist Miss Eaves followed by a performance by War on Women, who brought an intense energy to their own interpretation of a Katy Parry song. Filming a television pilot can be a grueling prospect for any audience, but the wit and welcoming vibes of the cast and crew (and endless patience of director Drew Kaufman) helped keep the audience enthusiastic for the entirety of the filming. By the end of the show it felt like a big punk rock family reunion.
“Two Minutes To Late Night” is produced by Desiree Akyurek and features a writing staff composed of some of New York’s best up-and-coming comedians including Katie Rose Leon, Jeremy Hammond, Lucie Stiener and several of the performers themselves. The cast and crew plan on producing an entire slate of 8 full-length episodes to comprise the show’s first season. Past episodes of the show have featured such noteworthy guests as Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Laura Stevenson (Bomb The Music Industry!) and Ice-T. The show’s usual house band is Brooklyn’s own Mutoid Man, a consistent crowd favorite. The previous four episodes are currently available online with this next one set to premiere next month.
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Two Minutes to Late Night is completely crowdfunded by the cast and crew and fans of the show. To help support the show visit: Their Website