Get to Know: Your Terrific Neighbors

Volleyball children, magic sex pencilists, submarine dads, jazzercise preachers, and dudes who love to 69, bro — these are but a few of Your Terrific Neighbors. One of Austin’s most passionately loved (and loving) sketch troupes, Your Terrific Neighbors are out there dropping fresh sketches on the community’s head on a monthly basis. They’ve been doing it for 4(ish) years and pride themselves on creating some of the most smartly dumb, dumbly smart, sweetly sick, sickly sweet comedy around, depending on what you mean by “around.” We asked YTN what the streets were sayin.

How did you get involved with doing sketch comedy?

Joel Osborne: I stumbled upon Kids In The Hall in my youth and became an instant addict of sketch. In college, four of us decided that since we were all borderline obsessed with the show and we thought each other hilarious that we should form our own group. We would meet about twice a week, write as many sketches as we could, and once a month drive from San Marcos to Austin to try out our pieces at No Shame Theater. There were a lot of rewrites. A lot.

Curtis Luciani: One day I decided that I wanted to do some sketch comedy, because writing full-length comic plays was too much of a pain in the ass. So I asked some of my favorite funny friends to do it with me. That was Your Terrific Neighbors version 1.

What’s your writing process like?

Courtney Hopkin: We try to exploit every possible combination: we write alone, in pairs, all together. Sometimes none of us are present when a sketch is being written because we’ve outsourced it to Korea.

We workshop sketches and look for advice from one another when we’re having trouble. Sometimes a sketch is very clearly owned by someone but most of the time a sketch is the result of lots of hilariously serious discussions about…how many spit takes is too many or just enough or whether or not the host of a talk show would still continue the show after a guest told him he was dead.

A lot of times, writing the sketches themselves is easy. It’s when we decide to do transitions between sketches, that decision making process can take a stupidly long time to decide on. We should have paid attention to that Mr. Show commentary.

What are you looking forward to at Austin Sketch Fest?

Joel: I love these kinds of festivals. Every sketch has a defining style or sense of humor that stands out among the others. It differs from group to group here in Austin, but when comparing groups here to those from other parts of the country it is much more apparent. When I see an out of town sketch show that has that kind of unfamiliar, style I usually leave with an overwhelming sense of inspiration. Last year after the Delicious Moments show, I remember thinking I have never seen anything close to what that was, and I very badly want to see something like that very soon.

What can we expect from your ASF show?

Curtis: Often our sketches will spring out of a single turn of phrase, or an absurd character tic, or a prop–something really small and particular. Then we build a couple of layers of absurdity on top of that, while trying to have an element that’s uncomfortably grounded in reality or weirdly touching. Hopefully, you can expect to laugh at the results?

List 5 things about Your Terrific Neighbors, of which only 3 are true.

One of us has a beard.
One of us killed a man in Toledo and took his name and social security number.
One of us is a legally recognized mother of a human child baby.
One of us still eats her boogers.
Everyone is scared to use Courtney’s pint glasses.

Your Terrific Neighbors performs at 29th streetballroom, Saturday, May 26th at 10 PM, with Delicious Moments. Tickets HERE.