When: Friday, January 20
Where: Sons of Hermann Hall
Times: Doors: 8:00 pm | Show: 9 pm
RISK! is a live show and podcast where people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share. Founded in 2009 by Kevin Allison of MTV's legendary sketch comedy show, The State, RISK! has been downloaded tens of millions of times and has featured incredible true stories from Sarah Silverman, Kevin Nealon, Dan Savage, Margaret Cho, Andy Dick, Michael Ian Black, and regular folks from around the world. Slate calls RISK! "jaw-dropping, hilarious and just plain touching." RISK! also puts on live shows for sold out crowds internationally.
Kevin Allison, creator and host of RISK!, started his comedy career on the legendary sketch series The State on MTV. But in 2009, everything changed. "I was doing a solo show out west, playing characters as usual," he says. "Afterward, Michael Ian Black [also of The State] said, 'I kept hoping you'd drop the act and tell some of your own stories.' I said, 'Yikes, that just seems so risky...' But even as I said it, I could feel in my gut that that kind of risk could lead to the best stuff."
The very next week, Kevin was on stage telling his own stories. "Suddenly, I was looking right into the eyes of audience members. We were reacting to each other, like friends. After the show, people didn't just say, 'That was funny,' they said, 'Thank you. That really got to me.' I was finding the meaning in my own experiences and the people listening felt like they'd lived through these things with me. The more I worried I was taking a risk with a story - because it was too emotional, too provocative, or just too nuts - the more the audience lit up."
In August of 2009, host Kevin and producer Michelle Walson started the live show RISK!, "where people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share in public" at Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was an instant hit. Stories ran the gamut from the sacred to the profane, the hilarious to the horrific - and for the audience, it was a chance to re-connect with the things that make us human. It's still just about the most cathartic, laugh-out-loud, anything-goes kind of smorgasbord you're likely to see anywhere. The monthly RISK! live show, winner of an ECNY Award for Best Variety Show, now lives at The Bell House in New York City and the Bootleg Theater in LA. RISK! also tours to sold out international crowds.