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A laugh-after-death plan

The Dependable Felons, James Chupka, Matthew Meyer and Bern Podcasy, will bring their comedic talents to a show billed as ‘sin-happy comedians overrunning the Valley.’

Even death won’t stop Bern Podcasy from doing sketch comedy.

“When I say I want to do this forever, I don’t mean until I die. I really mean forever,” the 29-year-old Wilkes-Barre native said. “My post-mortem stuff is going to be great.”

Podcasy is part of the comedic group Dependable Felons, a trio of Wilkes-Barre natives that also includes Matthew Meyer, 29, and James Chupka, 26. The Felons invite you to a comedy variety show, “Man Musk,” at the Kiss Theatre today and tomorrow.

This morbid sense of humor is only a glimpse of what the group’s comedic style is all about.

“We’ve gone back and forth as to what we are, and I think we finally settled on ‘Let’s get weird’ as our mantra,” Podcasy said. “Sometimes we do take on some pretty raunchy topics; sometimes we’re just plain silly.”

“We like to make people laugh but also feel a bit uncomfortable,” Chupka said. “It’s about making people feel weird in a good way, not in a way that they’re disgusted.”

An odd pairing that’s part of the Felons’ act is the oft-portrayed detective duo of Nick Nolte and Gary Busey.

“We’ve done that in so many different incarnations,” Meyer said. “It’s a personal favorite.”

The Felons also have performed “Three Men in a Tub,” their take on the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.

“It’s one of the first sketches we wrote, one of the first we got out there and did, so, to me, it’s definitely the one that stands out the most,” Podcasy said.

These sketches, along with several others, can be found on www.funnyordie.com on the Dependable Felons page.

The Felons formed in 2009, and the first major project they did, their short film “Self Portrait,” landed them in fourth place as part of the 48 Hour Film Project in Philadelphia.

“Our approach to the filmed aspect separates us from other sketch groups,” Meyer said. “We have more cinematic quality to our sketch work than average sketch group does.”

Though the Felons have performed in well-known settings such as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, a turning point in their career came in 2009 at a hometown venue, the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre.

“It was a very ambitious project,” Meyer said. “The three of us took on writing, producing, performing, directing and everything else involved with the show. It was a 90-minute sketch show of all-original stuff.”

“That’s when we realized we had the capability to put together larger things, and we wanted to take what we were doing out to bigger and better places.”

The group now has bases in both Philadelphia and Brooklyn, N.Y. This is where the three met the acts that will accompany them during “Man Musk.”

They will be joined by Mountain Top native Matt Holmes for his audience-interactive improv show “Matt &” on Saturday.

Brooklyn-based groups The Indicators, an improv ensemble, and BFA, a hip-hop duo, also will be a part of the production.

“This show is really the only sketch comedy and improv variety show that you can see in the Wyoming Valley right now,” Meyer said.

To hear the group members tell it, they’ve evolved, even since 2009.

“I think it used to be that if someone had idea, we’d do it and put it up on the Internet and not think much of it,” Podcasy said. “Now we have more of a focused drive, more of a schedule, and for the most part I think it’s the attitude that’s changed. We all want to do this as a career forever.”

Even in the afterlife.

If you go

What: Man Musk Comedic Variety Show, with the Dependable Felons. (Mature audiences only.)

When: 9 tonight and tomorrow night

Where: Kiss Theatre, in the Wyoming Valley Mall

Admission: $10. Tickets can be bought an hour before the show day-of or at DependableFelons.com.

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