What’s Your Sketch Comedy Group’s Name Again?: Meet Comickaze
Megan Snyder | Contributing Writer
What has six legs, two penises, long blonde hair and over 400 followers on Facebook? Actually, don’t Google that. It’s Comickaze, a local sketch comedy group “with explosive humor conducting a deliberate comical crash into an audience.” If you are not yet offended, read on.
Comickaze’s three founding members are:
Alex Weller, 21- a transfer student scheduled to begin taking classes toward a degree in communications at ODU in the fall. She was raised in Norfolk, enjoys trying new restaurants and plays the cello and the bongos. Her drink of choice: a screwdriver. Her hangover cure: mimosas.
Kasey Kennedy, 26- an ODU alumni and long-time employee of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. When he’s not running around in his underwear with Weller, his girlfriend of over a year now, and the rest of the Fishnet Inc. Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Ghent, Kennedy likes to play videogames, smoke hookah and disc golf. His guilty pleasure: Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine. His innocent pleasure: heroin.
Austin Johnson, 26- not officially affiliated with the university but owns an ODU t-shirt that he wears way too often. Between teaching radiation control at the shipyard and taking care of his five-year-old daughter, Johnson passes the time by binge-watching Netflix, practicing the drums and listening to grunge music. His weakness: Chick-fil-a breakfast. His strength: his beautiful wife.
Comickaze, named by Johnson, formed in the spring of 2017 shortly after Weller and Kennedy wrapped a production of The Farnsworth Invention at the Little Theater of Norfolk. The couple shot Comickaze’s first sketch, “Extreme New Energy Bar,” in Weller’s backyard. Fun fact: Kennedy filmed the entire video pants-less. Two weeks later, the group’s second sketch, “Truth of Dare,” debuted.
With over 600 views on YouTube, Comickaze’s most successful sketch is “Super Sex.” Featuring Johnson as Bruce Wayne, Kennedy as Bruce Banner, Keith, from Brotastic Nerdom, as Barry Allen and Dave Hobbs as Wayne’s trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth, the undercover superheroes lament about their unique sexual blunders. Comickaze’s most infamous prop, the bat dildo, also makes an appearance in this video. Needless to say, Comickaze is not for the faint of heart.
Filming generally takes place on a Saturday or Sunday around midday. The group recently decided they needed a change of scenery, as too many of their videos have been shot at the boys’ former bachelor pad in Portsmouth. The sketches “Clarence” and “Boujeebadook,” which combined garnered over 22,000 views, were, therefore, filmed in the homes of close friends of the group. “Jacked 2” was filmed in Kennedy’s old family home.
Costumes are comprised entirely of items easily found in the group members’ closets or thrift shops. Props are minimal and/or handmade. Food is never served on set because no one ever seems to remember how hungry they get after a while. Their unofficial cameraman, Scott Monday, is particularly offended by this, though he could not be bothered to give an official statement.
If you come across a newly uploaded Comickaze video, chances are it was filmed that day. Kennedy serves as the group’s main editor, splicing together scenes, dubbing audio and otherwise turning water into wine in a matter of hours, all from the comfort of his home office, AKA his bed.
Johnson is one of Comickaze’s primary writers and has appeared in all but two of the group’s videos. He and Kennedy, who have been best friends since childhood, recently graduated from the Improv 101 class at the Push Comedy Theater in Norfolk where they worked closely with local comic and co-founder of the theater, Brad McMurran. Johnson and Kennedy will be taking the 202 course starting in August to continue refining their craft.
With a background in theater, Weller has also acted in a number of Comickaze’s sketches, most notably the “Open and Shut Cases” series in which she portrays a raspy-voiced, overly dramatic police detective. Most of the group’s material is shot using Weller’s equipment. She also co-writes sketches and manages the group’s social media accounts.
Comickaze is currently seeking new members in an attempt to diversify their material, produce better quality videos and reach a younger, more left-leaning audience. Comickaze puts out new material every week. Follow Comickaze on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.