Gaming has swiftly risen to become as much of a spectator sport as it is an individual hobby. The rise of YouTube, Twitch and live esports has created a whole economy out of people watching other people play video games. Now Cinemark and Real Good Touring have added a new wrinkle to the formula with their event, The Gamer and the Mouth.
At this new event, which airs at Cinemark theaters on October 7, four gamers are paired with four stand-up comedians, and the latter backs up the former while attempting to demoralize the other gamers. The gamers are Jirard “The Completionist” Khalil, Ethan Nestor, Andrea Botez and Jaiden Animations; and the comedians are Moses Storm, Eleanor J. Kerrigan, Jeremiah Watkins and Chris “Comedian CP” Powell.
In each round, teams compete at games like Gang Beasts, with the gamer playing and the mouth backing them up. The winners move onto the next round, while the losers are subjected to a comedic “punishment.” The hosts can also press a “Distraction” button once per round, adding a twist such as the gamer being blindfolded while the mouth instructs them.
The event is co-hosted by Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, YouTuber and entertainer, and Chris Redd of Saturday Night Live. GamesBeat spoke with both McLoughlin and the show’s director, Richie Keen, about the inspiration behind the event and how it was created.
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How The Gamer and the Mouth came about
According to Keen, the event is based on an LA-based games tournament started by comedian Anthony Dayo: “He would produce video game tournaments in a movie theater in downtown Los Angeles once a month. And off to the side, there were three comedians roasting the proceedings. It was such a unique blending of two worlds – I had certainly never seen anything like it – and we knew we had something special to build off of.”
McLoughlin said the event brings the natural good humor playing together to a larger stage. “Gaming and comedy go hand-in-hand whenever I’m making content. It’s a communal thing when you’re gaming with friends. We all have those moments where you’re jabbing at each other. That family aspect of it was really fun, and the idea of bringing that to a live audience and having professional joke-makers on-board with people who were able to play games … it reignites that feeling of sitting on the couch with your friends and playing games together.”
Keen and McLoughlin said the teams were selected from their shared pool of connections, with the gamers and mouths paired randomly. McLoughlin said the audience also played a key role in show’s energy, helping to keep the performer’s energy up. “We tried to pick games that didn’t require a lot of knowledge to understand.”
Gaming event or comedy show?
Both Keen and McLoughlin expressed a hope that both gamers and non-gamers would be able to enjoy the event. Keen said, “If you come to this for the gamers, like Jacksepticeye, you will definitely be introduced to some of your new favorite stand-up comedians. If you are a fan of comedy, even if you don’t know a lot about the games, you will laugh a ton and you’ll become a fan, not only of the games, but of the gamers who are incredible personalities in their own rights. And the show, in general, is just insane. It’s hard not to smile and laugh while watching.”
McLoughlin said the event doesn’t require a lot of games “If you come to the show, you don’t need a ton of knowledge about games to know what is going on and have fun with it. This event especially translates very well to a screen, and you don’t really need to know what’s going on with games because the types of games we picked are very straightforward and easy to follow.”
As for the future of the event, Keen says that he hopes to expand the event in future. “We definitely plan to do this again and will continue to up the ante on our distractions and all around craziness and make sure we mine as much comedy and fun out of each subsequent hour we produce.”
The Gamer and the Mouth airs in select Cinemark theaters on October 7. Tickets are currently available for pre-order.
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