Nearly everyone is excited about the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which is slated to come to theaters this month. However, if you need to get your Marvel fix sooner, never fear — the new comedy show Reimagine The Avengers is touring the East Coast, and will kick off that tour in East Providence this week.
Reimagine The Avengers is the lovechild of two comedians and podcasting partners, Chuck Staton (Motif contributor) and Brad Rohrer. The show stemmed from Rohrer’s badly drawn Avengers art, which inspired Staton to create his own narration based on the drawings. Now this show is going on the road, beginning in East Providence on Thursday, April 12 and hitting New York City’s Big Apple Comic Con this weekend. I spoke to Staton about the creation of the show, as well as his background in comedy and podcasting.
“Years ago, I suggested we do our own re-telling of The Lion King for my girlfriend, Gina, because it’s her favorite movie,” Staton says, regarding the show’s conception. “Brad and I did this same type of segment with that story, and performed it in front of around 12 of our friends on Christmas. Since then we did it a few more times privately, and I really believed in it as a very unique thing we came up with that could really have universal appeal. I convinced Brad to do one at one of our live podcasts at Fete, and it went over so well.”
Staton, who has a background in punk music, began doing comedy videos in 2004 with his band, Senior Discount, intended as promotions for shows and albums. Since then, he has taken part in live film screenings and a 90-minute sketch show, written by four members of the band. In 2013 he teamed up with Rohrer, an improv performer, to create their podcast, Agree to Disagree: The Chuck and Brad Podcast. The show now boasts more than 350 episodes, including several live shows.
In Avengers, the two worked together to create a show that pays homage to the popular series. Having rewritten the narration based on Rohrer’s drawings, Staton made it a point to create the show in tune with his creative partner’s voice and perspective. Rohrer will be performing the narration in the show, so Staton made sure to “include things that he’ll be VERY happy to say in front of large groups of people.”
Staton claims to be the more “bold and outspoken’ of the two, while Rohrer is the more “conservative and nerdy” half of the comedy duo. This serves to provide the audience with a wonderful juxtaposition of two like-minded people with very different approaches to comedy and art. Together, they create an engaging podcast that discusses pop culture and all different kinds of art in Rhode Island and beyond.
“What I think is the most fun part for me is that we get to take something that already exists, and is beloved, and instead of just saying, ‘Hey that first Avengers movie that came out six years ago was great, right?’ before the new Avengers: Infinity War comes out, [Brad and I] get to really take that film and add to it. We get to bring it in new directions, and really push it to a comedic place.
“I think it’s really fun to be able to interact with it in a new way to get excited for the new chapter in that story. I love not only appreciating pop culture, but taking part in pop culture! Being able to do that with a crowd, laughing together, makes for a very special night.”
Ultimately, the Avengers retelling is a reflection of the friendship and working relationship that exists between Staton and Rohrer. The collaboration between Staton’s writing and Rohrer’s artwork creates a show that will not only cater to viewers who love summer blockbusters, but also to those who love a good comedy show with a lot of heart.
“There’s an additional element to what we’re doing that’s definitely based in long-running camaraderie,” Staton says of the show. “And it really is the backbone to what we’re doing.”
Reimagine The Avengers comes to The Comedy Connection in East Providence on Thursday, April 12. You can also catch them at The Big Apple Comic Con in New York City on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15. For more information, go to facebook.com/events/806947216168237