November 9, 2012

Comedians go for laughs in the Funny Pit – North Van’s Amy Goodmurphy starring in new weekly YTV series

Erin McPhee / North Shore News

YOU never know what you’re going to get when you’re pranking somebody: That’s a lesson comedian Amy Goodmurphy unfortunately learned the hard way while filming a series of hidden camera segments for new show The Funny Pit.

Shooting scenes in and around the Vancouver area and North Shore with her comedy partner Ryan Steele who’s also featured on the show, which debuted Sunday night on YTV, she’s been left with some mixed emotions.

For one hidden camera prank, their targets were children in a pet store. They installed a speaker in a cage and Goodmurphy gave voice to its inhabitant: a hamster named Hannah.

“I was talking to this one little boy who I somehow got to fall in love with me,” says Goodmurphy, a North Vancouver resident. “I waited for the right chance to ask him to break me out. He attempted to break me out of the cage when his little brother – who was a little bit older than him but still little – put him in a full nelson while he was screaming that he needed to get me out, that I was his best friend and he needed to take me home. It was the cutest most terrible thing ever. It’s fun and you really never know what you’re going to get. But it’s exciting to do that to people too, even though you feel bad.”

The segment will air on an upcoming episode of the half-hour comedy variety show that’s produced by Thunderbird Films in association with Great Pacific Television.

While she’s made a number of television appearances, The Funny Pit marks Goodmurphy’s first official series. She describes it as, “TMZ meets America’s Funniest Home Videos meets Just for Laughs.”

The show is based in a downtown Vancouver office space

referred to as “The Pit” where host Roman Danylo (Comedy Inc.) and fellow comedians Toby Hargrave, Paul Bae, Ivan Decker, and Goodmurphy and Steele play off one another in between a series of video gags, bloopers and hilarious family portrait segments. From wipeouts to weird pet antics, the content of the family-friendly show is diverse and offers something for people of all ages. Viewers are also encouraged to submit their own funny videos and photographs.

Goodmurphy enjoys serving as a member of the show’s hidden camera team.

“That’s right up Ryan and myself’s alley,” she says. “It was cool to just be on your feet. It’s all ad libbed. Nothing is scripted.”

While she’s studied acting, including at Vancouver Acting School, where she’s currently enrolled, Goodmurphy, a St. Thomas Aquinas secondary graduate, is a natural comedian.

“I’m just pretty much naturally a weirdo and love, love, love – live – to make people laugh,” she says.

Goodmurphy credits her family – parents Craig and Ruth and older brothers Kevin and Matt Goodmurphy – as her main comedic inspiration.

“They are the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. Come over to our house for dinner and you will leave with wet pants, guaranteed,” she says.

She got into comedy professionally after meeting Steele, a Langley native who now lives in Vancouver.

“He had a show going and he asked me to be in it and we’ve been doing live comedy and online videos for six years,” she says.

Partnering for The Ryan and Amy Show, they perform live sketch comedy often in Vancouver and plan to present a Christmas-themed show in late December, the date to be determined. Sketches and videos typically feature outlandish characters wearing crazy costumes, makeup and wigs, and at times see men play women’s roles and vice versa.

“We have some screws loose, Ryan and I,” laughs Goodmurphy, of their approach.

“Honestly and I’m not even trying to be cheesy, it’s the best feeling in the world to do a good show. It just feels unreal. There is nothing better in this world to me than making somebody laugh,” she adds.

They’ve toured the show to Los Angeles and Toronto, where they have some upcoming dates, Dec. 1 and 2, and their videos have also appeared on the Funny or Die website.

Goodmurphy loves that she gets to do The Funny Pit with Steele. “He’s so funny, he’s very talented. It’s awesome to be able to bounce off somebody that understands your humour . . . .

When I say something (in The Pit) I know he’s going to come back with something terrible in an amazing way,” she says.

They’ve filmed four episodes so far and Goodmurphy hopes The Funny Pit proves popular with audiences and gets picked up for a full season. “If you’re enjoying it now, it only gets better,” she says.

The Funny Pit airs Sundays at 9: 30 p.m. on YTV. To submit videos or photographs, visit thefunnypittv.com.

For more information, and to keep abreast of upcoming performances of The Ryan and Amy Show, visit “The Ryan and Amy Show” on Facebook.

emcphee@nsnew.com

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