If you live in the LA area, you might be familiar with the infamous underground variety show better known as Nick & Kyle’s Cobra Juice. If you are one who hasn’t tasted the Juice, it is something that needs to be experienced.
Lucky for you, you’re about to get the chance: Friday, July 18th at 9:30pm at the Steven Allen theater. (Tickets available here.) Plugs aside, the Cobra Juice experience has become a great story and one of the comedic geniuses behind the growing local legend, Kyle Shire, has agreed to join us today.
Sidney Stokes: Kyle, Thank you for taking the time out of your being funny schedule to join us, I think I’ll start with the question on the mind of all of our readers …just who in the hell are you?
Kyle Shire:* laughs *
SS: No I’m serious, who in the hell are you and how did you get into my house?
KS: Well, I’m a comedian from Chicago, comic book nerd, Mama’s boy, Aries/Tauras cusp, vers bottom WITH a twist, quoter of First Wives Club…and host of Cobra Juice.
SS: What is Cobra Juice? Do I buy it at Whole Foods and just how well does it mix with organic vodka?
KS: You can’t buy it at Whole Foods, those bitches have FDA requirements. Cobra Juice is like vaudeville on mescaline.
SS: Oh in that case…where can I buy it?
KS: Sundays…12:05pm-12:15pm in Echo Park from a guy named Tito, who will be wearing a long trench coat.
SS: It’s just you in long trench coat…isn’t it?
KS: …yes….and an eye patch.
SS: How did you and Nick come up with A) the concept and B) the title?
KS: My co-producer Nick Plotquin runs a set design company called “All Sets.” He’s an art director for film and TV. Using his resources we put on a variety show with spectacle and production value, most times with a theme.
SS: And the title?
KS: We wanted to convey that what we were selling something with intrinsically no value, but made people think that they felt good. Just like OZ…or Damon Lindelof.
SS: How has the show evolved as time has gone on?
KS: Originally we just wanted to put on a weird variety show for our friends and so we did it in Nick’s scene shop. Building the stage with leftovers from Nick’s sets. We did the show for free and we had copious amounts of alcohol to lure our friends. It wasn’t until the second show that we decided to do themes and play with the audience’s perception of the show’s reality. For instance in the second show, someone shot me and I was reborn as Harvey Fireweinstein (a sociopathic hybrid of Harvey Weinstein and Harvey Fierstein) and did the rest of the show as him. Now we’ve graduated from our gutter punk phase and now we’re performing at the Steve Allen Theater. Even though we now have to charge, cause Steve Allen has dividends to meet, we found our fanbase to be loyal and is still growing.
SS: With such diverse acts on the lineup of each show, what is the one common factor you look for?
KS: An OBSCENE amount of talent–
SS: I HAVE AN OBSCENE AMOUNT OF TALENT!
KS: * blinks *
SS: * stares crazily *
KS: Anyways…an obscene amount of talent. I also look for acts that many people may not have seen or heard have but I feel those acts should be seen or heard of.
…big dicks help too.
SS: I HAVE A…moving on. What lessons, if any, has Cobra Juice taught you that has caused you to grow as both a talent and a person.
KS: If you commit to making a show that’s just gonna be entertaining and not bring egos into it, the rest will simply fall into place. Be mindful of who you book and how you arrange them in a lineup cause some people think that shit doesn’t matter and it really does. I used to get very anxious and down on myself before big shows like this. Doing this sixth show I’ve found I’ve been able to approach any challenge with a clear and bolder perspective.
SS: You have a theme for each Cobra Juice, executed so wonderfully in terms of tone and set design, is there one for this show?
KS: This week’s theme is Twin Peaks ala Fire Walk With Me. Twin Peaks was so boldly weird, and made even weirder by the fact that it was on network television. My boyfriend, Jonathan Sims, is a writer/director and really loves Twin Peaks, it was his idea to incorporate it with Cobra Juice. He wrote a lot of cool interstitial sketches for this weeks show while I binged watched the shit out of Twin Peaks on Netflix. It was a real fun collaborative process to share with him. This is the first time Cobra Juice has had a theme that is related to a TV show or movie.
SS: We just so happen to have one of the upcoming Cobra Juice talents with us. Frequent readers of the site know her from a little segment called, “Poppy’s Coffee Corner” and all LA dive bar owners know her as, “Dear Lord, she’s back again already.” The wonderful and vocally gifted Poppy Fields. Hey Poppy! Poppy, please tell us, how did you get involved?
PF: Involved with who? You mean my husband, Mack? Well, I was really stoned one night in Vegas, and…
SS: Oh um…I mean Cobra Juice.
Oh…oh…truth be told, I’d never heard anything about Cobra Juice before you mentioned it to me, and put me in touch WITH the lovely producers. To be frank, I really don’t know what Mack and I are getting ourselves into, but I’m excited about it! I’m sure it will be a grand evening of entertainment and bawdy fun; and hey – I played Tijuana in the 80’s, so nothing phases me.
I agree…I’m pretty great. Let’s talk about that for a minute…my greatness.
PF: Sugar, you ain’t Barbara Walters. Back to me…
SS: What attracted you to getting involved with Cobra Juice?
PF: “Mack & Poppy”…well…we’re not what you might call a “conventional” act, and it seems like Cobra Juice is an evening specifically tailored for an act such as ours: those that are a little bit offbeat, a little bit wacky, but still very entertaining and with talented performers. I’m thrilled to be on the same bill as the legendary Deven Green and the wonderful Selene Luna!
SS: and what attracted Mack to getting involved?
PF: Free booze.
SS: Is there something you are looking forward to about this show more than other shows you’ve been part of?
PF: Are there male strippers?
SS: Um…not that I’m aware of?
PF: Then no…
…I kid…I kid! I’m just very excited to be a part of what seems to be a really wild evening. I love variety shows like this, and I think being around all the other performers will just be a hoot. I’m sure the show backstage will be equally as fabulous as the one on stage…but there should be male strippers.
SS: Thank you so much Poppy.
PF: My pleasure, sugar.
KS: I was a male stripper once but I had to stop because all the people I danced in front of lost their minds.
SS: That’s nice dear….Poppy isn’t the only Not Safe 4 Werk talent involved in this show. The other-worldly talented Deven Green will also be gracing the Cobra Juice stage.
Deven, what inspired you to drink the Cobra Juice? Was it to get a thrill of thrill, deep down in your vajeen, working in the variety show format or was it for your adoring audience?
DG: I was in the garden and had the choice to eat an apple or a snake. I am now full of venom and consider every show a variety show. My vajeene is happy to perform on the same stage as Poppy, Selene, Kyle and the other spectacular talent.”
KS: You should see the rider in her vajeene’s contract. It includes a bowl full of white M&Ms. How the hell am I going to find white M&Ms?!
SS: You should probably find a way. Poppy and Deven, we cannot wait to see what you are gonna do once you take the stage. Kyle, I’m gonna give you the last word here. What is the cheapest of cheap plugs you could make for the show?
KS: The 10th anniversary of Catwoman is happening next week…come celebrate at Nick & Kyle’s Cobra Juice at the Steve Allen Theater @ 9:30 pm this Friday…did I mention it’s BYOB? If that’s not enough Halle Berry WILL have a catfight with Sharon Stone in the parking lot!
SS: Is that true?
KS: MAYBE! Only one way to find out… come to Nick & Kyle’s Cobra Juice at the Steve Allen Theater @ 9:30 pm this Friday. Tickets are $12.00 at the door or you can buy the tickets HERE.
SS: Wow Kyle…that was so cheap my couch all of a sudden has plastic on it. Thanks for that and your time today.
Hope to see everyone at the show!
Nick & Kyle’s Cobra Juice feat Deven Green, Mack & Poppy, Selene Luna and more with begin at 9:30pm on Friday July 18th. BYOB. Tickets are $12 at the door or available here.