The sleaze, the sin, the dirty deals, the scandals. Life in Miami is a proverbial gold mine for investigative reporters and comedians alike. Just a brief perusal of the local paper's metro section offers healthy fodder for a funnyman. As a result the city and its rumblings have nurtured many a comedic troupe eager to show off its humorous stuff between auditions and day jobs. Tuesday nights at Tobacco Road some of these local veterans come together as Comic Sense, presenting a nearly two-hour improvisational comedy jam session where alums of Mental Floss, Laughing Gas, and Mission Improvable crack audiences up without a script. South Florida-based entertainers R.J. Walker, Danny Gonzalez, Cesar Guerra, and Ray Lockhart form the group's core. Their names may not be familiar to the masses, but their faces frequently show up in major-movie cameo roles and in local commercials. New Times recently spoke with Comic Sense leader Chris Whittaker about everyday existence in our balmy climes.
New Times: What's so funny about Miami?
Chris Whittaker: Besides driving down I-95, the fact that Gloria Estefan is the cultural high point is pretty funny.
When was the last time you were pulled over by a cop?
The last time was in Hollywood when I ran through a stop sign. I told him I had to go to the bathroom and he let me go.
He didn't offer to help?
He asked me to turn my head and cough.
What's your favorite Miami scandal?
I have to go for the tea box. I love a mayor who batters women with a tea box.
What about Alex Penelas?
I went to school with him at St. Thomas University. He sat in the front row wearing a shirt and tie. He was always sucking up to the professor. The professor would ask rhetorical questions and he would raise his hand. It was embarrassing. He was the quintessential suckup, and he didn't know shit.
Was he cute?
Who wears shirts and ties in 95-degree weather?
Do you have a gesture that you use while driving?
I sure do. I like waving my AK-47 over my head. It's the classic South Florida wave.
Who needs to laugh most in Miami?
Anybody who takes themselves seriously in Miami, or who thinks life is a joke. We all need to laugh.