By David Karp
I had the pleasure this weekend to go see Moral Hazard at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy. The show, performed by Chicago’s own Walt Delaney and Chandler Goodman, is a rather clever sketch comedy show exploring America’s recent economic collapse and how we got there. Delaney’s story which follows him from recent college graduate to an account manager at an auto financing company is both truthful and comedic, with Goodman taking a step back and looking (through different characters and sketches)at the progress of the country as the economy slowly but surely fails. Directed by Mark Logsdon, this is a show that is intelligently hysterical.
Recently, art has taken a look at a lot of economic issues recently. From Martin Scorsese and his latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street to Bruce Springsteen’s latest album High Hopes and, in particular, his album before that, Wrecking Ball, (and no, not the damn Miley Cyrus song) had explored the effects on our slowly recovering country. Satire and sketch is no exception to this, and Moral Hazard hits this subject spot on.
Within the cozy black box theatre, the audience not only laughed out loud at the situations, but was also given an economical history lesson. One of the main things taken in was the big bad wolf named “debt”, with a rather fun song about mortgages and CDOs (Collateralized debt obligation), as well as sketches about shadow banking system and the popular term, “too big to fail”. This show makes us look at the decisions we’ve all made financially in the past eight years and wonder and through all this, we ponder an economy that was “too big to fail, too little to dominate”, taken from one of the best scenes of the show.
Delaney and Goodman went all out with this show and played their characters with a heart of comedic gold. I felt for Delaney’s character, being reminded of some friends I grew up with, and the situations he was put in, which I’m sure is relatable to many college graduates just getting out into the “real world”. Goodman, playing a slew of hilarious characters from different people that Delaney meets to crazy German doctor Von Stutenberg, had energy, knowledge, and great timing as he guided us through America’s financial issues.
If you’re looking for a great sketch comedy show and want to learn something about why the country may be in the state it is AND also want to laugh the night away in Chicago and reminisce about the economic crisis, Moral Hazard is what you’re looking for, and you will not be disappointed. Growing up right across the river from Wall Street, I feel like the country could use some thought provoking comedy like this. Hell, hopefully it will come to New York!
“Moral Hazard” is playing every Saturday at 8pm now through March 1st at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy at 1422 W. Irving Park Road. Tickets are $10.