Published Nov 01, 2020Wondrous comic minds Chris Locke and Seán Cullen have been making the most of lockdown times, inventing the alter egos Tony and Keith and improvising dialogue together based on a theme. Both based in Toronto, the duo first showed up earlier this year on the fantastic record Chris and Seán are Tony and Keith in Nature and, like zombies, have now returned in time for a Halloween-themed get-together, Chris and Seán are Tony and Keith in Horror!
First of all, Locke and Cullen make just saying "Tony" and "Keith," seem very fun. Pretty normal names, really, but it's very satisfying to hear each calling after the other, almost sarcastically stating their names, as though reminding them that it's their name. Secondly, the comedians revel in their overactive, fantastical and fearless imaginations, mining from pop culture and social norms and turning it all into a ridiculous, psychedelic trip.
…In Horror! is framed by three frightful tracks: "Zombie Shack," "Murderer's House" and "Beast." These serve as settings, or at least contextual beacons, that the comedians each slowly swim towards while traversing a chaotic ocean. Each sentence uttered by the other is both an idea initiation and a total dare, and it's rather remarkable hearing Locke and Cullen riff off of the other, trying their best not to break so hard that the whole (often darkly disturbing) thing collapses.
Like all live performers, stand-up comedians are struggling with the loss of spaces and audiences, but many are finding ways to express themselves remotely. Chris Locke and Seán Cullen are truly among the sharpest, quickest minds in comedy, and we're all the better for them getting together during the pandemic for the tricky treat that's Chris and Seán are Tony and Keith in Horror! (Independent)