People are fucking stupid. Despite the fact that anyone, anywhere, regardless of actual knowledge or credentials, can be a blogger, some maroons still believe everything they read on the internet. Case in point, last week I wrote a tongue-in-cheek list of things that Darren Aronofsky's Noah got wrong. My inbox was suddenly flooded—like, I needed an ark—with people attacking me for implying that it was Noah, not Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale. I was shocked at how gullible the average internet surfer could be.
As luck would have it, the next day, when I had all but given up hope on humanity, I came across a comedy troupe called Blogologues and my faith in our species was restored. I was googling Jackie Robinson and searching for dildos when their website, blogologues.org, popped up. The idea behind their show is simple—founders Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula cruise the internet looking for any manner of silliness on people's blogs, tweets, yelps, etc. and act them out for a month of weekends at The Cow on Clinton Street in Manhattan. Their current show closes April 12, and they'll put up a new one in July.
The theme of each season varies and their latest show focuses on things like My Little Pony sex, while previous shows have focused on dolphin sex, masturbating to Paul Ryan, and the list goes on. A common thread seems to be fuckin'. I reached out to them to see what their ties to Jackie Robinson were and find out more about their show.
VICE: How did you meet up with civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson and convince him to join your sex comedy troupe?
Blogologues: Well, Chris, we've always been big fans of Jackie's work, and we thought there was an obvious synergy, because, you know, he was the first African American player in major league baseball, and we often dress as pioneers while fucking. No, but seriously, Jackie ReneeRobinson is one of our Blogologues actors. Yes, that's her real name. Yes, she's from Florida.
Tell me about the Blogologues crew. What's the goal and where do you find your material?
In spring 2011, Alli was reading out loud to Jen from the internet, as we sometimes do, because we're romantic. The post was called It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. At one point, she turned to Jen and said "Jams,[this is one of Alli's many pet names for Jen] this is a monologue!" Then Jams said those fateful words that would change our lives forever, or at least for the next three years: "It's a blogologue!" The rest is history. And by history, we mean we started a Google doc, began throwing in weird blog posts we found, and rented a theater.
Our material comes from anywhere on the vast world wide web: Craigslist, Yelp, tweets, online community forums, Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers… you name it. We choose material that's initially funny, or we take material that just strikes us because it's so damn strange or interesting. Then we sit around the table with our ensemble and brainstorm weirdly fitting characters and scenarios. A few sketches per show will be fairly straightforward, but most take an unlikely form. In our current show, we've taken an OkCupid profile called "ThreeGuysOneBabe" and—without changing a word—we've turned it into a game show with audience participation.
We have an ensemble of about ten actors who rotate through, and there are usually 5 actors total in each production, with everyone playing 7 - 10 different characters.
Your performances focus on different themes, and this latest show centers around the best topic: sex. Did you have to go outside of your safety zone to discover fodder for the bits? We're glad you recognize sex as the best topic, Chris. We're OK with going outside of our safe zone, because we usually have a safety word. (In this case, "dat ass." OK, fine, that's a safety phrase.) We ventured into a strange, hypersexual ether of internet content for this show. For instance, the creator of a site called isitnormal.com, Udi Falkson, told us to turn off "safe mode" on searches to find the best stuff. We soon learned that sex with a variety of non-human things is not an anomaly at all. The best we found, that was at least somewhat palatable, we stuck in the show: "Is It Normal to Have Sex with Plants?" It's a heartfelt story about a person who enjoys using a cactus as her dildo.
What's the worst sexual bit you've come across in your research?
Well, the saddest (in our opinion) is the phenomenon of technosexuality. We suppose that's really judgmental of us to think it's sad, since the people we've read about seem happy with their situation. But there also seems to be a real struggle to make this relationship acceptable to the other actual humans in their lives, and ostensibly it can be very isolating. Basically, there are people who are creating robot girlfriends and "marrying" them. There are some really fascinating stories out there.
What are some of the silly sexual niches you've discovered? And how much research do you do on the subjects? Like, do you attend brony orgies to really understand the characters?
We cannot disclose if we have attended a brony orgy, but let us just say they are really fun.
On a related note, furry fetishes are really fascinating as well. We do end up doing a fair amount of "research," because we're trying to find the piece(s) that will translate best onstage, which can sometimes mean that we splice together multiple posts on a subject into one sketch. We also look to see if there are additional jokes that we can work into the scene that are based on reality. Something particularly enthralling is all the lingo that is created internally within these groups. For instance, when bronies masturbate to My Little Pony, it's calling "clopping." When furries have sex, it's called "yiffing."
Where do your sexual interests lie? And have you been seduced into trying some of the new things you've learned on the web?
We began introducing each other as our business partner, but often people just hear partner and think that we're lesbians, not that there's anything wrong with that. So now we call each other NSP, short for "non-sexual partner." We have sexual partners, too, but they're not in Blogologues.
In terms of incorporating things we've learned on the web, ABSOLUTELY! Alli will often make Jen put on her Severus Snape costume, and then we go to town. We also do a lot of Hitler-Jesus role-playing and we have really sweet armadillo costumes that we like to wear when we yiff.
You have a bit about sex with a dolphin. Was that erotica source material written by one of you? Have either of your had sex with a dolphin? If not, do you want to? They say dolphins are very rape-y.
Well, the piece is anonymous, so you'll never know. MAYBE!
But our whole gimmick is that we don't tend to write anything. The entire show is verbatim and we create the characters, scenarios, staging, and (in some cases) stories. We had the dolphin piece in our back pocket for a while. Our company member, Andrew Ash, came to our office one night and asked if we'd heard about this phenomenon of "dolphin sex." Naturally, we were already familiar with the topic. Anyway, this was one of those amazing times where we knew we had struck gold when we found this particular post. If you click through, the piece is super long and not necessarily funny. But sometimes we just see how something could be played out onstage. We edited the post down for length considerations. Then, speaking of rape, we thought the sketch would be too uncomfortable if we realistically performed it with a dude and these two dolphins. So we actually turned it into a consensual love story, and cast three women in the piece. By making it three women, it became less disturbing, plus gender bending is fun.
One thing that really caught my attention about Blogologues isthe offer of free sex toys with the purchase of a ticket. Are they new or used?
LELO donated tons and tons of NEW sex toys. Every single audience member gets one. We also have lube from WET, condoms from Lifestyles, spanking paddles from The Pleasure Chest, and the first 25 ticket buyers to each performance receive a Pleasure Pack from Babeland. (Just to clarify: "receiving a Pleasure Pack" is not a sexual act; it's more swag you can take home with you for funsies.)
Also of note: If you're chosen to participate in the show, you get a prize. And the prize is one of those really realistic dildos that you can suction-cup to the wall. Or floor. Or your windshield. It's courtesy of Vixen Creations. So it's safe(sex) to say that the sex toy industry is super generous.
So pony up people and buy your tickets. All puns intended.