The Habit

There's the kind of laughter at a comedy club where you've gone "to have fun," as if it's the blue plate special. Then there's the kind that comes with no expectations at a whack attack like The Habit. Its five male performers ooze cleverness and timing in some 30 short vignettes (some linked, some freestanding). The sketch premises are only casually funny; but like sprinting downhill, the keenest fun is the sheer tumble of it—how rapidly the comedic constellations form, collapse, and reform. There's seldom a nanosecond to ponder what just happened before hurtling off to some new realm of the ridiculous. Jeff Schell and a cabal of fellow UW grads founded the local troupe in the mid-'90s. After forays in LA and New York, and auditions for HBO and Comedy Central, the group disbanded until last year's Seattle reunion show—which now looks to be an annual holiday tradition. Luke Thayer, John Osebold, Mark Siano, and David Swidler complete the quintet. The Habit branches out to battlefields, game shows, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, terrorists, Einstein, and cellphone patty-cake. It's the closest thing in Seattle to Second City, and we're already looking forward to The Habit's 2013 return engagement. MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.]

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 2, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 16. Continues through Dec. 2, 2012

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