Meet a Comedy Troupe: The Imponderables
By Brianne Hogan
The Imponderables star in web sitcom Bill & Sons Towing
Canadian Comedy Award-winning sketch troupe The Imponderables are at the Rivoli later this month promoting their web sitcom Bill & Sons Towing. We caught up with troupe member Tony Lombardo to ponder some deep questions, like “how funny is a piece of toast?”
I hear your name comes from the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road. Are you guys big readers? What's the last book you read?
The last “book” I read was an extremely thorough email from my friend Brad about how to properly grill striploin. It was intense — not only is the guy from Calgary, he also wins barbecue competitions.
What’s the most memorable road trip you’ve taken as a troupe?
On our trip home from Chicago Sketchfest (mid-January, minus 35 degrees) someone smashed our van window and stole our GPS. So we drove home without a passenger-side window for 13 hours in arguably the coldest winter in the last 10 years.
You once shot a sketch pilot with MTV. What happened to that?
We spent a year developing the show and then went down to L.A. to shoot this great pilot, but the exec who ordered it left the company and the show died. It's a great piece, but the vision of where it would sit on the MTV schedule completely went out the window when he left. We remained proud of it and before we could really start pitching it seriously to other networks, this Bill & Sons Towing web series project came up and, truthfully, we’re way happier doing this.
What’s the most outrageous sketch you’ve ever performed?
Most would say it’s the Dreams sketch, where Jon comes out completely naked. But for me it’s the Toaster sketch: the lights come up and the audience watches a piece of toast pop. And the lights go down. I love that everyone is watching it and there are no cast members on stage, yet it gets huge laughs every time. I think that’s what robots are for.
Who would you most like to perform with?
Well we’ve already performed with members of The Kids in the Hall and Mr. Show with Bob and David. I guess that leaves John Cleese.
You’re making a name for yourselves in the U.S. Is the goal to make it big in Hollywood?
I wouldn’t say it’s a goal at present. It definitely was a few years ago (to the point where we won Q107’s Funniest Home Video contest; then immediately sold all the prizes on Craigslist to buy plane tickets to L.A.), but after having done it and seen it, we now just want to create great stories. And if that takes us to Hollywood, Istanbul or Hamilton, we're happy.
Biggest achievement so far?
We are incredibly proud of our new web series Bill & Sons Towing. It’s a real departure for us from the sketch world, being a fully fledged sitcom (co-starring such legends like Nicholas Campbell, Sonja Smits and Jayne Eastwood), and we had such an amazing time.
What’s next on the horizon?
Bill & Sons Towing is in full swing. We are on episode five. New content goes up every Monday and Thursday. It's really great and funny, and hopefully it will parlay itself into a television property when it hits Just for Laughs and the Banff World Media Festival this summer. Check it out — but make sure your boss or kids aren’t in the room.
Year established: 2000
Cast members: Dave Brennan, Eric Toth, Jon Smith and Tony Lombardo
Influences: Kids in the Hall, SCTV, Mr. Show with Bob and David, SNL, Monty Python and The Far Side Next show.
The Imponderables, The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., 416-596-1908. To June 19.