by Tony Gavilanes
My holiday season would never be complete without my sweet ol’ dicktard Uncle Mike. Every time I am getting ready for Thanksgiving, there’s his barf-breath face again staring into my soul from the show poster. I go, because I can’t help it. He’s family. And then he ruins Christmas…and that sonofabitch did it to me again!
Douglas Williott appeared on stage and let us know that Lacy’s Christmas memory was going to be reenacted first. Thoroughly creepy, with the demeanor of a ghost, he floated in the spotlight to narrate our sweet story.. Jon Axell, Mandy Price, Molly Arkin, and Stephani Thompson then took to the stage sitting around the Christmas Tree. Songs of joy and warmth lifted the room from Chris Lundgren’s piano. The happy family began opening their presents. Inside were empty boxes with notes to one another, because this year the family was broke. Santa even dropped a few choice notes on them as well. Then came the knock at the door. It wasn’t UPS, it was Uncle fucking Mike. That turd came waltzing in all rich as shit and took all three women of the family as his brides. Motherfucker… you’ve done it again.
In all seriousness, Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas is one of my favorite holiday shows. One that has certainly become tradition to many people, young and old. Having been performed for a consecutive five years at Wing-It Productions (formerly the University Theatre), Uncle Mike runs at Midnight:30 on Saturday nights during each holiday season, and still brings a line waiting outside the door! They have been written up in the Seattle Weekly and retain an admirable following, myself included.
You should make this show a tradition of your own. If improv isn’t your normal cup of tea, be prepared to interact. Upon purchasing your ticket you are given a sheet of paper asking for your favorite Christmas memory. This is a chance to have the cast play out your memory and for Uncle Mike to ruin it. Altogether you aren’t required to share your intimate life, but from experience it is the very best way to see the show. A 10-minute act runs before the main show where the “Mistletones” sing their favorite songs from your holiday ideas, while wearing the finest Christmas sweaters and strumming a ukulele and guitar. They are fabulous and have been a perfect appetizer at this show for at least the last two years.
Uncle Mike is played by Mike Murphy, who is still all over Seattle billboards for UW Football as “Crazy Larry”. Mike is a dear friend, so I know he won’t mind me mentioning his puke-breath. Mike has been creating hilarious improv and comedy since high-school, such as, Made In China, one of his first big shows. He cultivated his craft for the art in countless productions during college and has since been in Seattle as one of Jet City’s signature actors, and for almost as long has been doing Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas. Mike is the kind of guy that naturally makes any situation hilarious. His knack for the character Uncle Mike is born from years of burning out bar side with the salty dogs, bums, and drunks of our local area. Mike really feels as familiar as a relative from the stage, but makes the most lewd and inappropriate environment he possibly can. Oppressed factory elves churning out Santa’s “snow,” blatant hatred to all people, unexplainable perversion, and murder are just a few choice themes you will enjoy from Mike’s performance.
This is an amazing way to bring together a group of friends, family, or enemies for that matter. Attend one of Jet City Improv’s earlier performances in the night, or grab a couple drinks at one of the thousands of bars on University Way, and then roll on down to the big yellow theatre for the show. They are equipped with a full bar in addition to a concessions, and they take credit cards. Invite Uncle Mike into your heart, and he’ll probably piss on it. God bless us all!!