The Name Game

lindseybarrowbureau
You’ve got your group, you’re rehearsing like crazy, and you guys start talking names.  Unfortunately, Mike wants the name “2 Swinging Dicks” and Jennifer wants “Butterfly Business.”  Eh, you sure you want Mike and Jennifer in your group?  I mean, seriously, Jennifer, that obsession with butterflies is surpassed only by Mariah Carey’s.

But before you decide on a group name that makes you cringe every time you say it, take a look at these helpful hints.

Warning!  Stay Away from the Following!!!***

Funny Names
Don’t name yourself “The Ha Ha’s,” “The Laugh Clowns,” “The We So Funnies” — (dang, definitely stay away from that one, or just start calling yourselves the “We So Racists”).  Nothing says, “We’re a group of middle-aged men who always crack the same jokes at Thanksgiving,” like these names.  Name yourselves “The Funny Uncles” if you want that demographic.   Actually, “The Funny Uncles” ain’t bad.

Current Pop Culture References
This is akin to getting a Chinese good luck symbol tattoo.   Don’t name yourselves “Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress,” “Maria Shriver’s Pre-Nup,” or anything with the words “Winning” or “Charlie Sheen” in them.  However, “Franco’s Side Project” is NOT out, especially if James Franco is in your group, which I don’t doubt.

Inside Jokes
An example is “My Best Friend’s Pasta Pot,” which you guys get, right?  It’s a reference to that article I wrote about puking in public and one of the places was a pasta pot.  It was crazy and we all laughed so hard!  I guess you had to be there.

See how annoying that is?   Anytime you find yourself saying, “I guess you had to be there,” a bell should go off.

Heckler Bait
So you’ve named yourselves “Da Bomb” and you’re a little novice.  Kudos!  It’s hard to get out there.  Here’s the thing, don’t make it easy for hecklers.  “Da Bomb” goes out for your first gig and the dick in the third row that thinks he’s a stand-up yells out, “At least you didn’t try and mislead us with your name.  You guys really did Bomb.”

I would heckle that heckler, because that’s just horrible heckling.  Where did you learn how to heckle, heckler?

Anyway, stay away from names with these words: Bomb, Bad, and Stinky, or names like, “The Good Thing This Show was Free Because You Can’t Ask For Your Money Backs.”

When all else fails, call yourselves “The Bureau.”  Just kidding!  That’s the group I’m in now.  And also, this entire article has been a shameless plug.  Find us on Facebook!

***Ignore this article if you’re a group of super talented performers (see Asssscat).

**** 


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About the author

Lindsey Barrow is a writer and performer. She is currently a student and intern at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. Lindsey has written and performed sketch comedy in L.A., St. Louis, and Austin, and plans on writing and performing where you live some day. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling; so don’t try any mind games. Also, she knows reverse psychology is not a real thing. Or is she using it right now??? You can read other stuff she’s written on her blog.

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5 comments

  1. Jessica

    I’ve been throwing around a name for my ultra hardcore punk all girl band called Dick Punch.

  2. Allegra

    Great advice! I see way too many improv groups who are really talented, but whose names make me roll my eyes so hard it hurts. To the list of “don’t”s, I would add: names that are pointlessly shocking (The Baby Killing Child Pornographer Holocausts) and names that are ” so random!” (Ham Frazzle Dishwasher Spleen).

  3. Vickie Toro

    so helpful! i’m awful at coming up with names.

    but now i know.

    “Lesbians in a Jeep” would be out of the question.

    …sorry. you had to be there.

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