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Star Wars fan fiction is perfectly bad (which is good!)

Posted by Staff / January 8, 2013

Fan Fiction Star WarsOn Saturday night at Black Swan Comedy, I saw the seventh show of a monthly comedy series focusing on fan fiction. Yes, that often terrible, sometimes hilarious internet phenomenon has been taken from the shadowy depths of the interwebs and brought to life on stage by comedy troupes. And boy does it translate well. The show's themes have ranged from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, Twilight to Star Trek, Kill Bill, Frasier, and even Saved by the Bell. Up this month, Fan Fiction: Star Wars edition.

By the time the show was over, I was shaking. It is a serious workout to laugh that hard for that long. Two and a half hours. Seriously. I think my dimples are now deeper than they used to be. And all I can do is thank comedian and show producer Adam Ward for it.

Fan Fiction Star WarsHave you ever imagined what Star Wars in the Smurf world would look like? Or what might happen if Darth Vader ever met Cookie Monster? Well, someone in the world has - and wrote it down for your enjoyment. And the performers on Saturday brought it to life.

Hosted by Andrew Chapman, who awarded some of his (I can only assume long-treasured) Star Wars toys as door prizes to lucky audience members, the show's roster included performances by the Sushi Boys (Adam Ward and Mark Cotoia) with Stephanie Schreiber, Jameson Kraemer, and special guest Mark Little, winners of the 2012 Toronto Sketch Com-Aggedon, Rulers of the Universe, music geek comedy duo, Debs and Errol, and the Weaker Vessels with Josh Murray.

Fan Fiction Star Wars"We find the best/worst fan fiction. We'll read it once to know that it's perfectly bad at the start, and then find out how horrible it is on stage together with the audience," says Tyler Hewitt of Rulers of the Universe. "Perfectly bad" could not be a more apt description. In the Sushi Boys' opening piece called "Bubbles," Boba Fett hallucinates a conversation with his bathtub, which seems to try to seduce him: "'It's not yo' age, sugah, you jus' too up-tight,' retorted the tub."

Fan Fiction Star WarsAt the end of that piece, which provoked more than one smirk from these comedy vets, Mark Little said, "I'd like to comment on how little actually happened." Sometimes it's not about the action; sometimes racistly-hallucinated bathtubs are enough.

As the show came to a close, Chapman invited audience members on stage (unknowingly) for Wookie impressions, and an aftershow by the Weaker Vessels (a Harry Potter fan fic) ended the night. By that point, I couldn't handle any more laughing; I was laughed out. The combination of smart humour, popular topics, and quality comedians makes this show an understandably sold-out event every month.

Fan Fiction Star WarsThe next shows are looking like James Bond and Videogames (think: Pong paddles developing a relationship). If you want to bust a gut and break your face from smiling, it's worth paying a visit.

Writing by Lori Steuart / photos by Christian Bobak



Fan Fiction / January 8, 2013 at 11:00 am
On Feb 2nd we're back with Fan Fiction - James Bond.

What Fans are saying about Fan Fiction:
“One of the greatest things. Ever.” Stephanie Curtis
“This was awesome!!! I had so much fun, and so many laughs.” Naomi Censored
“Great show” Leslie Hudson

Hope to see you there!!!

Fan Fiction – James Bond
Black Swan Tavern
154 Danforth Ave
Saturday February 2nd, 8pm
Debs & Errol / January 8, 2013 at 11:10 am
Huzzah! We had a great time that night! :D
Karina / January 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Good on ya, Adam
James / January 8, 2013 at 01:20 pm
As always, we had an amazing time. It also gave me an excuse to break out the lightsabers!
Charlie / January 8, 2013 at 02:36 pm
Having been in a number of Fan Fiction shows now, I can say it's one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have as a performer.

To gain some momentum in the laughter for any comedy show, you need to instill a sense of community in an audience. When the 'group mind' mentality gains traction and every individual in the room feels like they're moving through the show as one, it's a wonderful thing to behold. Fan Fiction has that universal understanding hardwired right into it and once you tap into source of communal imagination, there's nothing in the comedy world that feels quite so effortless and so rewarding.
Melissa / January 8, 2013 at 04:28 pm
I've been to two of these and they're always so hilarious your face hurts from laughing, it's true! Fanfic shows are, to me, a nice reminder that there are creative/crazy people all over the world that like the same things as you; and it's really great to see such funny Toronto people act out their ridiculous ideas.
Brandon / January 8, 2013 at 10:22 pm
As an avid star wars fan (I have the tattoos and career to prove it) I had greatly enjoyed my time coming out to the show. I was just baffled as to why I was the only one knowing the answers for nearly all the questions with so many other fans in the audiences.

Still had fun none the less.
Maddox Campbell / January 8, 2013 at 11:16 pm
Fan Fiction is pure fun. There is something magical that happens when you mix the absolute worst in amateur literature with the performances of the best in Toronto comedy. You will hurt from laughing. You will hurt for piety in literature. This show is the best version of pointing and laughing at a train wreck together with all your friends.
Benjie / January 9, 2013 at 01:05 pm
I like the sound of this, but are they crediting the original writers at all?

Plus, so many fan fiction writers seem to be painfully earnest about what they do... I can only imagine seeing their work presented like this would be devastating.

Yes, they are posting it anonymously on the internet, yes it is likely they will never, ever find out about it, and yes, a lot of fan fiction writers have a sense of humour about what they do. But.
Fan Fiction / January 9, 2013 at 01:46 pm
Hey Benjie,
Thank you for your questions and concerns! We credit our sources using their user names. Our audiences are able to find more work from authors they enjoyed. Past writers have included "69theewok", to name one, so the stories we find are humorous in nature, and presented honestly with the best performances we can give. The authors I've contacted about this show have been flattered. I'm working on getting one of our international writers to fly over for a future show. He writes under ShakespeareHemmingway and I recommend you check him out and review! Hope to see you at a show!
Adam Ward
Koe / January 18, 2013 at 04:56 pm
Thanks for taking the authors into consideration, Ward.

Like Benjie, I also got very concerned when reading about these shows. Laughing WITH someone and laughing AT someone are very different things and comments like Maddox Campbell's "the absolute worst in amateur literature" and "You will hurt for piety in literature. This show is the best version of pointing and laughing at a train wreck together with all your friends." doesn't make me any less concerned for how the authors are treated.

A usual argument is "But the fanfic author did step on the original canon author's work first", but this doesn't really apply, as fans seldom invest much energy in canon we hate. It's FAN fiction, after all. So if you can call yourself fans of the fanfic you play out, having a hearty laugh at it is perfectly okay. But if you do it mainly to gross the public out by exposing the losers and modern version freaks, well... that would stink. Badly.

Best of luck with honouring both fanon and canon then,
your concerned fan
Koe :)
Fan Fiction / January 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm
Hey Koe,

Thank you for your concerns! A show like this wouldn't be able to work without the fans behind it. For the Star Wars and Doctor Who shows, people came dressed up. Those pictures up top of people with light sabers, dressed as characters are the fans of the show (not performers associated with the show, with the exception of Andrew Chapman's Han Solo), and if this show were to make fun of that devotion, the show just wouldn't work. I met Brandon at the last show, and he designs his own light sabres for a living!! (as well is helping me with a Deadpool costume for next years FanExpo) These are the people we're putting this together for. Our acts are big fans of the different themes we do, and I've reached out to different performers from around the city based on knowing of their devotion to something like James Bond, or The Hobbit.

This show sets out to honour the creativity of putting Cookie Monster with Darth Vader, by giving it the best performance possible, bringing it to life on stage. You'd really have to see it is all I can say, and let me know how you feel after!

Adam Ward
Other Cities: Montreal