For two years now, The Fornicators of Comedy has been practicing its special brand of improvisation acting and scripted sketches in Anaheim, Calif. “We moved to Orange County because we have a bigger following here,” explains Kimberly Ratificar, the co-creator, producer, and director of FOC. “Our plan is to tour outside of California in the future.” For now, the group enjoys the intimate setting of the Second Stage Theater at the El Rancho Plaza and performs there every Sunday at 8 p.m.
The cast is made up of roughly twelve funny, clever, and quick-witted members, but only half that amount is usually performing on any given night. The newest member to the troupe, Jocelyn Pronovost, premiered with veteran cast members on January 14, which was FOC’s pre-season opener. Jocelyn is one of only three girls in the group. “It works out really well, especially in comedy, because I think that it’s more of a male-dominated profession,” she says. “It’s a truth of the comedy world. Guys are just funnier — just kidding.”
Sometimes, of course, the improvisations just don’t find their mark. Fortunately, FOC sprinkles a healthy amount of scripted sketch comedy throughout their show, written by head writer Bick Brown with contributions from the cast, like co-writer Scott Yarborough.
The space itself is tiny, accommodating roughly fifty audience members, tops. On the upside, no seat is a bad seat. The stage is well worn and undressed, save for a few linens, draping from the ceiling, decorated with power flowers to punctuate this season’s 60’s theme. Choice songs from the era, like Love Potion #9 and Soul Bossa Nova, play as house music to loosen you up.
The games that followed were all of professional caliber and performed well, but some were truly inspired. One of the better games was Good Cop, Bad Cop, where the suspect doesn’t know what the crime is that he or she committed and has to guess it by the clues that the good and bad cop drop. Of course, the audience knows the crime as well. This game ended up being the hit of the night as it ran long with Jocelyn as the suspect unable to guess the last piece of the crime correctly despite the most obvious clues.
After having seen the show, I feel ashamed for having had low expectations based on initial impressions of the space. But as soon as cast member DJ O’hea flawlessly imitated Bobcat Goldthwait and Mohammad Hussain gave a spot on impression of Andy Rooney by cupping his hands above his eyes to imitate eyebrows, I was sold and I knew that I had discovered something special.
For newcomers, Kimberly has these words of advice, “The show is very unexpected. A lot of things will be said. Some might shock you. Some might throw you off. Just prepare to have fun.” And you will.