Two musicians from Red Deer, Alta., have combined their musical talents with a humorous edge resulting in a comedy act that is raunchy, sexual and funny.
The Dirrty Show, with Melody Stang and Kayla Williams, will be at Voodoos on Aug. 23 at 9 p.m.
The two have been friends since childhood, both attended Red Deer College and received their music diplomas.
Stang said they pride themselves as musicians, first and foremost, while the comedy portion has emerged more recently.
“That’s really what we’re really working on is the comedic aspect and trying to make sure both of those are equal and on par with each other in terms of professional kind of content,” she said.
Stang said when the two of them get together they have difficulty taking things seriously.
“We just like to have fun and laugh and joke around,” she said. “That’s how the first song happened. We were trying to write an actual song and then we starred messing around with the lyrics and then all our friends wanted to hear it.”
They eventually wrote other songs and instead of playing in front of friends at a house party, they started adding the songs to their regular music set.
Both Stang and Williams are private music instructors and in 2011 they decided to take their act more seriously and approach it with a more business-like attitude.
Their comedy genre is very hard to describe because it’s not typical stand-up comedy nor is it a strictly musical act. When they perform live, they include improvisation and funny dances, along with their songs, which Stang said has allowed them to play at variety of locations.
Some of those include: Yuk Yuk’s in Calgary, Boonstock, Vagina Monologues in Red Deer, The Taboo Sex Show in Edmonton and Red Deer, Edmonton Fringe Festival and they were awarded first place in the Calgary FunnyFest Talent Search 2014 Comedy Competition.
Although their songs titles and lyrics use coarse language there’s more to it.
“We do definitely have swear words in our music but it’s not just a whole line of cuss words,” she said. “It’s mostly just open and candid discussions about sexuality … regardless of the topic it all stems from honesty and willingness to talk about it. Most people who are sexually active don’t actually discuss these things, sometimes even with their partners so we kind of take it to the next level and really put it out there and are making light of it in hopes that people will be more open-minded about sex and just sexuality in general.”
Stang said they’ve had people walk out on a couple of occasions.
“It’s in the nature of what we do and to be honest, we don’t have it happen as much as you would think,” she said. “The reaction is really good a lot of the time. We’ve only had a couple instances where we’ve had an issue with the contact, where it was offensive enough to make somebody leave.”
They’ve been described by fans and other performers as being the female version of Tenacious D and Frank Zappa.
Although some people might find their shows offensive, Stang pointed out she and Williams were longtime musicians and singers before they discovered comedy.
“We did a lot of musical lessons, so our harmonies were very tight,” she said. “We grew up listening to older music and were inspired by listening to Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac and stuff like that so that’s where a lot of our musical writing inspiration comes from. We’re very big into harmonies.”
While they’ve never defined themselves as female comedic performers, Stang said they’ve noticed most of the comedians they’ve performed around are predominantly white males with very little racial or gender diversity among them.
“In some ways you do stand out more that way and in some ways, you’re almost more desirable just to have somebody different,” said Stang, adding they entertained at a show where they were the only females out of the 10 comedians on stage.
“We were obviously a memorable part of that show because we were different,” she said. “That’s definitely something we’ve had to embrace, not just because of our gender but because of our content.”
Stang hopes anyone seeing their upcoming show will approach it with an open mind, as opposed to being offended by their material.
“We hope that people are at least enlightened by what they see,” she said.