Vermont Comedy Club Roasts Marvel's Superheroes | Comedy | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Vermont Comedy Club Roasts Marvel's Superheroes


Published May 5, 2022 at 11:39 a.m.

Spider-Man (left) and Natalie Miller - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Spider-Man (left) and Natalie Miller
Sometimes, even superheroes need to be brought down a peg. This sounds like a job for... the Vermont Comedy Club!

The Burlington comedy mecca stages a roast of all things Marvel this Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7. Dubbed "Vermont Comedy Club in the Multiverse of Crassness," the roast features a lineup of local comedians and writers portraying some of Marvel's biggest heroes and villains as they take the piss out of each other. The name is a nod to the latest Marvel blockbuster, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, debuting in theaters this weekend.

"With all of these films, Marvel has thrown so much stuff at the wall the last decade," VCC co-owner Nathan Hartswick explained. "And a lot of it didn't exactly stick, which is just great fodder for comedy. Especially a roast."

"Vermont Comedy Club in the Multiverse of Crassness" poster - COURTESY
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  • "Vermont Comedy Club in the Multiverse of Crassness" poster
The club has staged some high-profile roasts of other movie franchises before, notably tackling the Star Wars and Harry Potter universes. Unlike a traditional roast, where comedians take the podium and do their own bits, VCC roasts are scripted. For each, Hartswick and co-producer Sam Kurnit assemble a writer's room, which also includes Hartswick's partner and VCC co-owner, Natalie Miller.

"It's a roast, but in reality, this is a written sketch comedy show," Hartswick said. "We spend weeks just writing as many jokes about these characters as humanly possible."

Hartswick said the roast straddles the line between jokes for casual Marvel fans and references aimed at more serious fans.

"We know most of our audience has a baseline knowledge of these movies," he said. "You'd have to be living under a rock the last decade not to. But we also know that there's this smaller population of the audience that are very, very nerdy.

"We want to make sure there's jokes for the nerdier fans," Hartswick continued. "But we don't want it to be too much, where it just turns into a night of Marvel deep cuts. So, we're keeping it accessible, joke-wise."

Cast of the "Harry Potter" roast at Vermont Comedy Club - COURTESY
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  • Cast of the "Harry Potter" roast at Vermont Comedy Club
Though he isn't sure what franchise or group of characters he and the VCC will lampoon next, Hartswick says they plan to continue with the roast series, despite the amount of work it takes. He pointed out that when VCC produced the Harry Potter roast, they transformed the club into Hogwarts for the event.

Rather than go all-out on stage design for the Marvel roast, VCC focused production energy on superhero costumes.

"I'm taking the costume thing very seriously," Hartswick said. "Some of them will be excellent. Others will be very deliberately silly. We don't exactly have Marvel's budget."

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