COMEDY TROUPE ‘NOBODY GETS US’ HOPES EVERYBODY DOES
THURSDAY, MAY 10th, 2012
Joe Officeworker is in serious trouble. He is a ticking bomb. He is angry… about everything. He’s angry about having to get up early to go to work. He’s angry about someone taking his parking place. He’s angry at the co-worker who won’t stop clicking her pen. Joe Officeworker is headed for the breakdown of his life. What can save him? A good dose of the giggles – of course. After all, laughter is the best medicine, as they say.
That’s where the good people of Nobody Gets Us come in. The comedy troupe, based in Western Michigan came together just to save Joe Officeworker, and thousands like him, from themselves.
In November 2011, Saugatuck-based actor Melissa Anschutz met with her agent, Malinda Petersen of MP Talent in Grand Rapids. They were discussing the upcoming LaughFest comedy festival, which is held annually in Grand Rapids. Every year, all the proceeds of LaughFest benefit the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. When they talked of the need for a sketch comedy troupe, Melissa said, “Hey, I’m funny! I know funny people! Let’s do this!” And then she ran from the restaurant, leaving Malinda to pay for lunch. Melissa then started contacting the funny people she knew, and the troupe was born.
Melissa contacted Rockford resident and comedic blogger Leslie Bosscher, as the two had worked together on a comedy show in the past. Also in the group is Sarah Cavanaugh, a part-time stand-up comic and TV personality from Grand Rapids station WZZM-TV’s Take Five & Company, as well as actors Ralph Lister and David Gries, and actor/comedian Mark Boyd. Tying the group together is sound and light technician Steve Nardin. “Without Steve, we’d just be a half dozen idiots doing skits for our friends. The sound and lights turn it into a show,” said Boyd. “Just don’t tell him he gets paid less than the rest of us.”
Within a very short time, their first show, in March 2012, was SOLD OUT. The people of greater Grand Rapids were in obvious need of some healing laughter. And when the group performed at LaughFest, Nobody Gets Us didn’t let them down.
It’s said many lives were saved that day. “Without us providing laughter and good times, the ER’s would be packed,” said troupe member Mark Boyd, sympathetically. “I remember seeing this guy who was choking on something.” said Leslie, “But we said something really funny, and it was even more effective than the Heimlich.” Melissa added, “When I think of all the good we’ve done for people…” and her voice trailed off as emotion choked back the words. It’s clear what making people laugh means to these blessed souls.
David and Ralph would have also provided quotes for this article, but they were just too busy to be bothered. No, really, they are quite the busy actors. Among other things, when David isn’t working on sketch comedy, he is a serious movie actor. Ralph holds an acting class on Mondays in Grand Rapids, and is a narrator and director for Brilliance Audio Books in Grand Haven. He is even up for an Audie Award (think “Oscars” for audio books).
So maybe laughter isn’t really the best medicine. But what if it is? Should you risk it? If you’d like the chance to be miraculously healed from what ails you, make sure to catch their next live performance provided there are any tickets left. If not, please see your physician about your anger issues.