Smothers Brothers Grimm at the Minnesota Fringe Festival


I would say Smothers Brothers Grimm was a smart comedy, but as I learned from this valentine to those who make us laugh, that would be condescending. As the play points out, no one ever says “that was a smart string quartet.” (To which I say as a musician, of course not. They say “that was an interesting string quartet”. But I digress.)

The Smothers Brothers Grimm visits young Milton (Andrew Moy) on the eve of his Grandpa’s funeral. Milton is a kid who sleeps with a rubber chicken and spends a good deal of time trying to figure out the old slipping on a banana peel trick. His Grandpa loved comedy, and passed it on to Milton.

Milton’s mom and Dad (Shanan Custer and Levi Weinhagen) are worried because Milton isn’t grieving in a conventional manner. He is goofing around and reading fairy tales, Grandpa style. We get to see Hansel and Gretel in the style of Laurel and Hardy, the Three Little Bears phone call to 911 operator Bob Newhart, and Lucille Ball as Rapunzel (Happy 100th Birthday Lucy!) The kids enjoy all of the silliness, and the adults enjoy reliving the classic comedy bits we grew up watching on television.

I would say I learned something important about the love families share. But the deeper message is that banana jokes are funny.