Sometimes the best live performances aren’t even really performances. I could have closed my eyes and listened to this entire fake-radio-show-style folly, and it would have been just as brilliant. But then again, I wouldn’t have seen shining stars like Alison Brie, Busy Phillipps, Donal Logue, Danny Pudi, Colin Hanks, and Samm Levine. What a treat.
Of course, they were only guest-stars in the ensemble. It was the regulars, like James Urbaniak, John DiMaggio, Marc Evan Jackson, and Annie Savage, that really held it all together and turned it into a rich, giggle-worthy story.
The whole thing was completely random—a fake commercial here, a faux kids’ story there, a Western-inspired tale for the adults here, a throwback to the early 20th century there. Obscure doesn’t even begin to describe it. Yet it’s these kinds of esoteric performances and stories and scripts that really convey just how creative the human mind can be, and just how talented the writers and actors really are. Afterwards, my friend and I stuck around to confess our loves to Alison Brie and Danny Pudi, who are also on Community, and their graciousness was like icing on the cake. They are exactly how you’d hope the young and talented would be—confident, conversational, humble, and kind. So long as people like them, and performances like Thrilling Adventure Hour, keep existing in Hollywood, I think we’re all going to be okay. Support live theater, dammit.