One part Double Dare, one part pub trivia, with plenty of pizza rolls to go around—-Loser., a live-action, multi-part “shame show,” will embarrass the crap out of a few lucky audience members at the Bier Baron Tavern tonight.
The masterminds behind this Frankenstein’s monster of comedy are St. Louis natives Jeremy Essig and Chris Ward. Essig, who’s in his mid-30s, came up with the idea with Ward one drunken night—-and the next day, despite the ensuing hangover, they stayed true to their word and booked their first show. And they’re still doing it, only now they’re on the road. “This is our first tour,” says Essig, who says it was always his dream to tour with a band. But this gig isn’t so bad, either.
The madness breaks down into four parts: First, there’s music trivia, followed by a karaoke contest with live accompaniment by a guitar and a toy drum set. After that, it’s onto the video games, where contestants have a limited amount of time to compete in whatever game Essig and Ward throw at them. Oh, and contestants can eat a of pizza rolls to earn extra points. Like, a lot of pizza rolls—-Totino’s actually sponsors the tour, “in the sense that they’ve paid for all of our pizza rolls with an insane amount of free pizza roll coupons,” says Essig. Once they’re full of greasy goodness, players must make it through a hodgepodge competition of charades or Pictionary-type antics. Then, the show culminates in an episode of an ‘80s or ‘90s sitcom starring local comedians and a trivia contest in the style of Name That Tune.
Needless to say, if you win at Loser., you’ve lost at dignity. But winners don’t walk away empty-handed. “Our prize suitcase generally consists of a bunch of stuff bought from Goodwill,” says Essig. A typical prize might be a photo of the Pope, a Bret Michaels bandana, or—-you guessed it—-a handful of pizza roll coupons.
Watch the show’s promo video here. Catch Loser. tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Bier Baron Tavern.