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An Interview with The Late Night Players
By William  Baptist

I met the Late Night Players while they were in Philly performing at The University of The Poor's art show: Untold Stories. After a funny performance I stopped them and gave them a quick interview.  Here it is!

GeoClan.com (GC): How long has your group performed?

 

Late Night Players (LNP):We started in 2000 as students at Brandeis University in Waltham,

Massachusetts. At the time all we were was a bunch of friends who wanted to do something creative together. Once we started writing comedic sketches and once they became popular on our campus we decided we wanted to do this professionally. And by the time we were all graduated in the spring of 2002, we started our career as a professional group.

 

GC: What is the meaning of your group's names? And the names of the groups" members?

LNP: Well the meaning of the group's members is pretty straightforward because we go by our first names. The group's name originally derived from a TV show Andrew Slack was hosting called "Late Night Snack With Andrew Slack." But we really settled on the name "Late Night Players" because it felt iconic. Oftentimes comedy groups have names that are clever like "Pigs In A Sugar Coated Blanket" or something to that effect. That's cool. But we decided to go with something more iconic.

 

GC: What do you consider your Style or focus?

LNP: We like to say we do a show that's like Saturday Night Live but it's actually funny. In reality, our show has been greatly inspired by Comedia Del Arte and it's also loaded with improv. The focus of the show always changes because we customize each show to our audience. But I will say that we are consistently very focused on raising people's sense of social consciousness through humor.

 

GC: What are some of your comedic influences?

LNP: Everything from the Marx Brothers to Seinfeld to John Stewart to the Simpsons to of course Kids In The Hall and The State. It's a shame that our influences are almost all men. We try to bring in a subtle and sometimes overt feminist message in our humor.

 

GC: As a group, what are some of your most positive and negative experiences so far?

LNP: Performing for the University of the Poor, a group of nonprofits in Conway, Arkansas, and other meaningful events like a fundraiser for Amnesty International and the Campaign to End AIDS. Getting a standing ovation from 1000 kids at the University of Central Arkansas is also a pretty good feeling. Traffic jams and bad food are amongst our most negative experiences. But we try very hard to eat healthy.

 

GC: What has shocked or surprised your group about the experience?

LNP: How much performing and writing are only two aspects of the job. Being in this group, you have to be very good at communicating with four other men that you're surrounded by a great deal of the time. We're also humbled by how well our shows have gone in the South.

 

GC: Who would your group like to work with in the future?

LNP:Well there's the standard sketch comedy answer like Adam Sandler and David Wain (from "Stella). But we also want to work for the most important causes...such as the movement for Economic Human Rights. We need to be making a difference. The world needs it so much.

 

GC: Who has your group already worked with that you wanted to?

LNP:Recently the University of the Poor, a story teller named Brother Blue, a famous stand up comedian named Jimmy Tingle, and an amazing band called "Harry and the Potters."

 

GC: Who does your group make theater for?

LNP:Whoever we can. The last couple of years it's been college students but we are now branching out. Whoever we make theater for, however, we hope that it has an impact on them. That it lightens their heart as well as gets them thinking.

 

GC: What is your short term plans? Long term plans?

LNP: Short-term plans are to continue the college circuit while branching out into comedy festivals, corporate events, volunteers at nonprofits as well as fundraisers, and working together with other artists to change the world. Long-term plans involve world domination in some form or another. Maybe that's not thinking "big" enough, but we are very humble guys.

 

GC: What is your groups' background theatrically?

LNP: It varies. Two of us have studied theater at conservatories. Mostly everyone has a lot of experience performing in either plays or musically.

 

GC: As a group, what are some of your extracurricular activities?

LNP: We like going to the movies, going out dancing, and hiking up beautiful mountains.

 

GC: As a group, what do you do usually on a non-descript day?

LNP:Drive in a van. But it's pretty amazing. We use the time to book shows, write new material, and listen to old 1945 radio episodes of the Adventures of Superman brought to you by Kellogg's of Battlecreek. I highly recommend that show, as it's very entertaining.

 

GC: What do you think of the comedy scene in Philly?

LNP:Two of us are from Philly but we are just getting to know the comedy scene--and we hope to get to know it a lot more in the near future.

 

GC: What do you think about change (think of Uploading Change, GeoClan.com's slogan)?

LNP: In a world full of poverty, genocide, domestic violence, classism, and environmental desecration change is essential. We believe that the only way to make effective change is through our creative hearts and minds. And a community of artists is a population whose creative imaginations can change the world. The Late Night Players would be honored to be part of such a community.

 

For more info on The Late Night Players go to their website at www.latenightplayers.com .

 

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