I’ve always said girls are funny. Not everyone may agree with me, but I’m a true believer in the argument that ladies are often the best comedians because they add something unsuspected to the equation (by which I mean, of course, “a vagina”).
So, naturally, I’ve been a fan of Variety Shac for years. Although they don’t often perform on stage together (it’s a one-at-a-time deal), these New York-based performers – comprised of musician Shonali Bhowmik and comedians Heather Lawless, Chelsea Peretti (who has a laundry list of funny, failed relationships ) and Andrea Rosen – produce stellar variety shows at alternative venues, where they often feature guests beloved by the comedy crowd, including Bonnie McFarlane, David Cross, and Mike Birbiglia. Nevertheless, my favorite part of the show has always been the annual debut of a new short, all of which are predictably low-budget and earnestly seem to follow little to no narrative at all, much in the tradition of Stella.
Shonali, Heather, Andrea, and Chelsea (get it? “SHAC”?) play over-exaggerated, mildly retarded versions of themselves, which has clearly boded well for other online sketch video icons Zach Galifanakis, The Lonely Island, Maria Bamford and the aforementioned Stella.
With plots based around concepts as one-note as road trips, bake sales, and a dance party, one might expect mild results, but the SHAC girls hit it out of the park every time. Furthermore, they’re all attractive ladies who do what any self-respecting good-looking comedienne does: they make themselves look as idiotic as possible. Luckily for us, it works like a charm.
For example, what could be sexier than a woman who adopts “baby voice” to piss off her friends, as Andrea and Chelsea do in Road Trip (notice Heather’s hilariously lowered head from the back seat, where she appears like an impatient, uninterested babysitter)?
More impressive, however, might be the poker-face Lawless manages to display in one of their delightfully weirder videos, Bake Sale, as she urges Chelsea to do like her friends and adorn her pearly whites with fresh chocolate frosting.
Fiercely funny and joyfully irreverent, the girls of Variety Shac manage to do the impossible: act, dress, and talk like nonsensical, overgrown babies and still come off as some of the funniest women in comedy and online video today.