No More Funny Business!

Local sketch comedy troupe the NonProphets are in it for the laughs

Josh Rohan orders a Red Bull and lights a Camel Light, only to set them both down as Sketch #14, "Becky & Wanda: What Really Happened?" beckons him to the stage. Darting briefly behind the black curtain, he emerges in a ratty brown wig, bulky pink dress and plastic crown. He mounts a faded slab of carpet in the middle of the stage next to John "Schmack" Virgin for their parody of the infamous local television ad. The two sway their arms rather unconvincingly as if the carpet is airborne.

"I'm Becky, Queen of Carpet!" announces Rohan.

"And I'm Wanda, Princess of Tile!" counters the thinner Virgin.

Despite the NonProphets' expanding numbers, co-founder Kirsten Wylder hopes to keep the group intimate
Jennifer Silverberg
Despite the NonProphets' expanding numbers, co-founder Kirsten Wylder hopes to keep the group intimate
Equity actor Travis Estes never puts the NonProphets number two
Jennifer Silverberg
Equity actor Travis Estes never puts the NonProphets number two

"We've got good news for you," says Rohan in Becky's falsetto, smiling dubiously. "Our inventory is overstocked."

"You might even say," says Wanda, reaching over and poking Becky in the gut, "we have a 'hefty' supply!"

Becky drops her arms and gives Wanda a momentary look of wrath, then resumes flying.

"Now we must unload all of our quality carpeting..."

"You can even say we're 'trimming the fat!'" Wanda interjects.

"So, join us this Tuesday for our special Mardi Gras sale!" Becky says.

"Every day is Fat Tuesday at Carpet World! See you there!"

Filming of the commercial is cut, and the two come down from their carpets. Becky, stewing in anger, grabs a pair of burgers out of a fast food bag, one for each hand. Wanda lights a cigarette.

"Boy, we sure have been up here a long time! If I hadn't eaten a half bagel five hours ago, I'd be dying by now!" Wanda gloats as Becky stuffs her face.

Becky, incensed, turns toward Wanda and lets out a primal roar, something like an erupting volcano. The lights go down. When the lights come back up, Becky stands onstage alone, gnawing on a spinal column that appears to be about Wanda's size.

"Becky, Queen of Carpet here with another great deal! This weekend only, all tile must go!" Becky grins viciously. "Mention Darwinism and receive an extra ten percent off!"

For a moment, the crowd can't quite seem to decide if this act of gluttonous cannibalism should appall or delight them. But gradually they begin to hoot and laugh. The NonProphets watching -- even though they've seem this sketch dozens of times already -- can't help falling over themselves either. Once again, the group has succeeded not just at cracking up the paying customers, but at cracking each other up -- which, in the end, is just as important.

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