‘Get Real’ comedy offers audience a shot of skepticism

Mike Mesa and Imri Jonas Merritt want you to Mike Mesa and Imri Jonas Merritt want you to “get real.”

For years, Imri Jonas Merritt and Mike Mesa were kicking around ideas for a live show highlighting their deep conviction to the tenets of rational skepticism. But alas, it proved difficult to make the tenets of rational skepticism, well, fun.

But last year Mesa booked Jamie Kilstein – a comedian with a national following – and the pair discovered the most engaging form of rational skepticism out there: stand-up comedy. Merritt promoted the event as “Get Real 3: Comedy Cabaret of Skeptic Proportions,” filling out the bill with local and national stand-ups who all poked fun at accepted dogma, religious or otherwise.

“We wanted to stay away from the word ‘atheism.’ That just seems to create so much division and confusion between people. Besides, ‘atheist comedy?’ That just doesn’t sound very funny,” says Merritt, sitting in Kraftwork on Girard Avenue, just a few blocks from his home. “We want to give these ideas to people in a way that’s digestible – sorta fun – and not beating them over the head with it.”

“Get Real’s” third incarnation (or perhaps evolutionary development) will hit Underground Arts on Thursday, featuring Sam Singleton performing his trademark “Patriarchs & Penises” one-man show. Singleton is the alter ego of writer-actor Robert Scott Jackson, and represents a departure from the standup-only approach of the “Get Real” series thus far.

“[Comedy clubs] have very tiny stages and strict formats, but we always wanted to do different kinds of things. With Underground Arts, the venue is so flexible,” says Merritt. “We can do sketch, storytelling, comedy, music; and they’re not going to kick us out when the show is over. So we can make more of a night of it, which is what we always wanted to do.”

If you go

Get Real 3: Comedy Cabaret of Skeptic Proportions
April 11, doors open at 8 p.m.
$15
Underground Arts
12th St. and Callowhill St.
www.undergroundarts.org

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