MARSCON 2021’s COMEDY MUSIC CONCERT ACTS:
Music Guest Of Honor
Robbie Ellis is primarily a piano comedian, and has done feature-length musical comedy sets at venues around Chicago, including FuMPFest 2019, as well as around the US and his native New Zealand. His debut album Pumpkins has earned him multiple dollars of sales on Bandcamp and royalties on Spotify.
He’s a regular musical guest at The Paper Machete at The Green Mill, on the faculty at the Second City Training Center, and is a music director for improv, sketch, and musical theatre. He’s a composer for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles etc, and headlined an orchestral comedy concert called The Mid-30s Guide to the Orchestra with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago. His day job is presenting and producing classical music radio on WFMT Chicago.
His latest release “Breathe”, song written immediately after Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the 2020 US Presidential Election, is available to listen to and download at the Funny Music Project.
Beth Kinderman mainly performs serious folk music, but her recent album “Return of the Son of More Songs About Robots & Death” is a full-on comedy album, so Beth (and maybe some of her band, the Player Characters) is going to give us all a big slice of the funny! Another important thing of note is that Beth Kinderman and her friends from the Feng Shui Ninjas also host the annual “Space Oddity Brew Club & Pub” Room Party on the 11th floor!
Our other first-timer at MarsCon this year is Amy Engelhardt, who has a comedy song with Harry Shearer on it which makes me so jealous I can’t even. Amy spent a lot of time in rental cars from 1998-2011 as the sole female voice/writer/arranger for eclectic, Grammy®-nominated vocal “band without instruments,” The Bobs. She recorded 4 CDs and toured extensively with the band, from Lincoln Center’s American Songbook to Northwest Folklife to the Pori (Finland) Jazz Festival. As Mother Superior of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl, Amy recently led a choir of rocking Satanic nuns rhapsodizing about Armageddon through Hollywood, Austin, New York and London in the promo campaign for Amazon Prime’s GOOD OMENS series. After invading all red carpet events, Q&As with Neil Gaiman and flashmobbing in every city, Amy produced the nuns’ EP Unholy Night for Amazon Music.
Devo Spice (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) is a nerdcore and comedy rapper from New Jersey who calls himself “the red-headed stepson of Weird Al Yankovic and Eminem” and is one of the most popular artists on “The Dr. Demento Show”, having had the #1 most requested song of the year three times, and is also a two-time Logan Award winner for Outstanding Original Song and Outstanding Parody Song. He is the webmaster of the comedy music collective website “The Funny Music Project”, aka The FuMP .com. Of his many albums, one of note would be his Doctor Who concept album “I Am The Doctor”, which has has 11 tracks about each of the first 11 Doctors (there’s a new Capaldi song on his latest album, Whittaker song coming in the future, fam).
ShoEboX is the sole member of comedy music act known as Worm Quartet (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) which is a Rochester, NY-based band that forcibly staples punk and electronica together and throws them into a blender with hysterically twisted lyrics. They have been featured repeatedly on “The Dr. Demento Show”, with many Funny Five / Top Ten appearances, and had the most requested song of the year in both 2004 (“Great Idea For A Song”) and 2005 (“Inner Voice” with Sudden Death.) By day he poses as a mild-mannered software engineer. His latest album is titled simply “The Pac-Man EP”, on which pays tribute to everyone’s favorite goldenrod semi-circle on the game’s 40th Anniversary as best as anyone who shares a VH-1 TV episode credit with Fred Willard.
At Dragon*Con 2004, Dr. Demento declared “the great Luke Ski” (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor) to be his radio program’s “Most Requested Artist of the 21st Century”. Since then, Luke held onto that title by having his nerdy comedy tracks on “The Dr. Demento Show’s” annual year-end “Funny 25” countdown of his most requested songs of the year for 18 years in a row, with a whopping FIVE of them reaching the #1 spot, including his 2018 hit “Candybars”, which earned him his 3rd Logan Award for Outstanding Parody Song. Luke has been the Chair of the MarsCon Comedy Music Track since it’s inception, now in its 18th year. Luke Ski is currently looking for his next full-time job in the animation industry in the Burbank / L.A. area, paying the bills by being a cannabis product delivery boy, and trying to make more new comedy songs when he has the time and money to do so.
Returning for his second year is Garett Snook, a.k.a. “Il Neige” (it’s French). He is an L.A. based songwriter who’s love of the electric guitar is matched only by his passion for Simpsons quotes. He began producing comedy music in 2014 with “Sub Zero,” widely regarded as the moment “Let It Go” parodies stopped being funny, and has since gone on to spoof Bastille, the Beatles, and more. His originals walk the line between silly and sincere, covering topics ranging from Nintendo, to the meme-ification of Christmas, to… okay, so it’s mostly Nintendo. His most recent project is “Rock that Pokemon,” a YouTube series that attempts to immortalize all 800+ of the little buggers through song. Citing influence from Green Day, Weezer, and whichever Ska band is playing in Anaheim tonight, Neige believes there’s always room for a little more Geek in your Rock. He also made one of Dr. Demento’s highest charting hits of 2019, a song about Nintendo’s fighting game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” titled “Everyone’s Here!” And check out his parody music video of a song by the Killers about Kylo Ren, “Mr. Darkside”!
Kyle A. Carrozza, aka “TV’s Kyle” created an awesome hilarious animated program for Cartoon Network, “Mighty MagiSwords”, as well as being one of the voice actors on it voicing MANY characters, including the lead male Prohyas. His dinosaur-lifemate “Lindzilla” also worked on the show as a character designer and voice actor. But before any of that happened, Kyle spent decades coming up with crazy catchy tunes, and quite often, Lindsay would join him on the tracks. Once he found “The FuMP .com”, he started sharing his earworms with all of us. In 2011, after he attended MarsCon for the first time, he vowed never to miss one ever, and with Lindsay joining him hasn’t missed one since, making this his 11th consecutive MarsCon performance, a streak second only to Luke Ski (who also worked as a storyboarder and voice actor on “Mighty MagiSwords”, which by the way is available to watch in its entirety on Hulu and HBOmax! That’s 88 episodes, just waiting to be binge watched! What are you waiting for?) He also co-hosts the fortnightly animation podcast “Kyle & Luke Talk About Toons” with Luke Ski and is one half of the duo Scooter Picnic with Insane Ian, which he describes as “bloopcore quirkhop” as if those words have meaning. Silly cartoon man.
Insane Ian is a comedian/writer who has been in several bands and loves video games. He plays them, he reviews them, he collects them, he even writes comedy songs about video games. He’s gone so far as to combine reviews and comedy songs into his video game “Reviewsicals” on YouTube. Just one look at Ian’s Bandcamp page makes it obvious that Insane Ian is a comedy music juggernaut that cannot be stopped. Ian hit a milestone in his career a long time in coming, as he had the #1 most requested song of 2015 on “The Dr. Demento Show”, the name-mangling Brit-tribute, “Benedict Cumberbatch”, sitting firmly atop the Doctor’s year-end Funny 25. With a sharp wit, sarcastic smirk, and a bit of self-deprecation, he’s here to bring his unique sound to anyone who won’t tell him to shut up…and even a few that will.
Grant Baciocco discovered Dr. Demento in 6th grade, who introduced him to the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic, The Smothers Brothers, Tom Lehrer, Allan Sherman and his hero, Stan Freberg. Since 1995, Grant has entertained audiences with his comedy music act “Throwing Toasters”. He’s performed his songs in over 100 clubs and music venues, 30 colleges, 3 cruise ships and a sold out show at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. No lie. He’s released several CDs with his songs that have topped the charts of “The Dr. Demento Show” and have been featured on college stations around the country. He’s also worked as a skipper on the The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland and was the puppeteer of the robot Waverly on Netflix’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000”.
And oh yeah…
He is also the creator and puppeteer of “Toiley T. Paper”,
who has 2 MILLION FOLLOWERS on TikTok.
Known as one of the world’s fastest comedy songwriters, Tom Smith (a former MarsCon Music Guest Of Honor, which brings us to 4 former Music Guests of Honor performing this year) is beloved by thousands of people all over the world who have passed out in a hotel conference room with a bottle of vodka in one hand and an autoharp in the other. With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, the only thing he won’t do is be boring. The only recording artist to be featured on both NPR’s Sound and Spirit and “The Dr. Demento Show”, and writer of the official chantey for Talk Like A Pirate Day, Tom has been praised by such diverse folk as Christine Lavin, Larry Niven, and Randy Milholland. He has two dozen albums so far, blending comedy, tragedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, popular culture, politics, religion, and the occasional recipe with virtually every genre of music you can imagine.
AND JOINING US FOR A SPECIAL VIRTUAL Q & A:
Drummer of “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s band for over 40 years, and author of the new book “BLACK & WHITE & WEIRD ALL OVER: The Lost Photographs Of “Weird Al” Yankovic ’83-’86”!
For much of Weird Al’s career, one man has been by his side, photographing and documenting the fun and weirdness: longtime drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz. Since meeting Al on September 14th, 1980, the fateful day they recorded Al’s first international hit parody song “Another One Rides The Bus” live on the air on “The Dr. Demento Show”, Jon has taken more than 20,000 images of Al in his element: on tour, in the studio, and on video sets. We’ll be asking him about his book, what things were like on the last couple of tours, and where you can get the best chili in Burbank.
The Q & A will be hosted by two “Close Personal Friends Of Jon”, The Dr. Demento Show’s Most Requested Comedy Music Act of the 21st Century, the great Luke Ski, and his bestie partner in “Weird Al” fanaticism since 1998 and fellow MarsCon attendee since 2003, Stephanie Wild!
If you would like to SUBMIT A QUESTION FOR JON, you can do so by clicking the link below and filling out our question form: