Rad Motel Comedy Sketch Group

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Last year, a bunch of Brown alumni/former Out of Bounds members decided that real life sucked, so they formed a comedy sketch troupe in New York City called Rad Motel. Just kidding (mostly). Max Godnick ’13, Adam Weinrib ’12, Emily Spinner ’14 , Michael Goodman ’13, and Jack Usher ’15 just released an official music video based on their acclaimed “Hamiltrump” sketch. Along with former member and current LA cool guy Sam Usher ’12, the Blognonian entered a magical Google Hangout to interview these funny people. We learned some new slang, experienced some technical difficulties (plus a myriad of background color changes), and received sage wisdom from the OOB legends.

Blognonian: How did this group get started?

Max Godnick: After many years of ‘oh we should write’ conversations, we started convening as a group again at my very small, very dirty apartment…first meeting [in] November, with an official, first new show in May 2015.

Sam Usher: Basically we had done this incredible thing during college, that I think for many of us was the best thing we did during our whole four years, and then post grad were all like…alright and now what? Since we were all in the city together, it seemed obvious that we should just get together and try it for real, and see if 1) We could still do funny things and 2) If anyone cared about our funny things outside of the walls of Brown.

Max: Turns out people cared! We perform on the first Thursday of every month at the People’s Improv Theater.

Emily Spinner: The PIT actually asked us if we were interested in a monthly show after we had sold out all of our [three] previous shows.

Adam Weinrib: But a lot of it harkens back to how much damn fun we had in OOB [Out of Bounds].

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Blognonian: What’s the writing/rehearsal process like? 

Max: Sometimes we meet up, sometimes we write alone, sometimes we write on Google Docs . . . It’s actually kind of funny we’re doing this on G-Chat now.

Sam: There are weekly meetings that get much more frequent as we get closer to the show.

Max: Then show week we meet every day. We try to mirror the show week preparation process we did in OOB.

Adam: Except our timeframe is even smaller than it was in college. We love to do a lot of work in a short amount of time. We know each other “v” well, and know each one of us will come through when it counts.

Emily: We rehearse in our respective apartments and drive our roommates crazy. The day of the show we meet up when people are done with work.

Jack Usher: Untrue, I get out of work early to meet.

Max: Savage! And unclear when Jack got here.

Adam: Jack is our rudest member.

Sam: Jack and I are literally brothers. Jack’s 23 years old and I’ve known him the whole time, he came from the hospital.

Blognonian: Who would you say makes up your audience?

Max: A ton of my mom’s friends. Fans of our OOB shows. We had some epic OOB shows – sold out Upper Salomon twice.

Emily: Definitely friends and family, now coworkers.

Adam: Expanding to friends who never saw OOB though.

Blognonian: What inspired the Hamiltrump sketch and subsequent music video?

Max: Sam and I saw Hamilton in August, like a second before it got cool.

Emily: Also fun fact, I live in Aaron Burr’s old home.

Max: THAT IS TRUE. SHE DOES. SHE FULLY DOES. Also John Adam’s old home, and George Washington’s old office. It’s an incredible New York historical spot

Michael: And Lin-Manuel Miranda was my sister’s teacher in high school. Also, Emily do you ever think that you’ve hooked up in the same building as our founding fathers?

Emily: 100% Mike.

Blognonian: Are you worried that Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to challenge you to a rap battle?

Max: We’re hoping he does!

Adam: Very worried Trump will.

Michael: Kasich will.

Max: Kasich already has, he [direct messaged] us.

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Blognonian: What are you looking forward to in the near future?

Max: So we’re very excited about this video; it’s our first foray into multimedia (besides our Funny or Die series).

Michael: Hopefully this introduces us to larger audiences, and from there we can continue to make good things.

Blognonian: Anything you want to say to the Brown Community?

Michael: I would say get the large Guatemalan in the Blue Room, it’s the best coffee they have.

Max: I joined OOB the year after Sci Li State of Mind blew up, and it made me want to do a comedy. Now, 6 years later, we have our own music video on par with that one.

Adam: Don’t take a girl on a second date to Gate Sushi. (Eds. Note: No one crush his heart and tell him the Gate closed.) But truly, all I wanted freshman year was to join OOB. I idolized those folks like SNL megastars, and when I got in sophomore year, and the Yankees won the World Series, I cried from happiness every day. To be doing this with my best friends so many years later is so beautiful.

Max: Very very proud of this video. Hoping to perform at the White House or the Tonys.

Michael: My advice is, if you have a good thing going at Brown, there’s no reason why you can’t keep it up.

Emily: And definitely find the people who push you to be better — we are a group that supports and loves each other, and inspires each other to make each show better, even when we don’t think it’s possible.

Jack: This one’s a little dark but: if you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room.

Everyone: Wowwwwwwwwwww . . .

Adam: Savage to some room he ditched.

Sam: I would personally just say I’ve never trusted Vartan Gregorian.

And there you have it. Rad Motel is about to get bigger than Donald Trumps bouffant. If you want to watch recordings of their live sketches, check out this youtube channel, and their bonus video from the release. Give them a like on Facebook, and maybe we can pressure them into doing an alumni show at Brown!

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Images via Rad Motel and via Caitlin Dorman ’16.
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