It’s hard to say what’s going on when there’s cereal all over the floor and people are laughing like lunatics, occasionally smashing into each other. I could think of one or two words for what’s happening at Insurgo Theater under the name Motherfuppets! ... but those words might not accurately convey the disorienting effect of this bizarre approach to late-night sketch comedy. SNL on acid? Wham City? Absurdism? Those don’t quite cover something that’s not clearly “good” or “bad” but flirts with both.
When you read the word Motherfuppets, it’s difficult to know what to expect, though you probably expect something funny, perhaps even hilarious, and definitely involving puppets. There are puppets in the show. Most often, however, they are the victims of terrible violence, which is only funny if you’re a certain kind of person. The candid laughs are mostly facilitated by the Elmer Fudd-like character alternately chasing a horny rabbit and being violated by him. Audience laughter more often seemed inspired by awkwardness, whether at the stripper dancing to heavy metal between comedic acts or the constant fourth-wall breakage in the delivery of lighting and sound directions.
No doubt all of this is intentional, but just what that intention was remains a mystery. Best guess: The mystery is the point. A show that begins at 12:30 a.m.—actually, more like 12:50—in a casino is usually the same-old same-old, even when it’s burlesque. Insurgo is clearly doing everything it can to not do that. So if you want to see something different and you happen to be awake, these might be the only good reasons to go see Motherfuppets! some weird Friday night in November.