Here's the official site for Fort Worth's own rising comedy group, Shut Up and Prance! Learn all about us, our upcoming events,
Shut Up and Prance was founded in 2011 by two dummies who wanted
to write and direct comedy videos. These dummies, Naaman Rodges
and Riley Morris, have since enlisted the help of a whole crew of
dummies to help write sketches, perform improv, emcee live events,
and run their monthly Wondercrust Movie Watchers Club shows.
Since 2011 we have had our shorts in numerous festivals all over the USA and in Ireland. We’ve performed in front of dignitaries and the homeless; for hundreds and dozens. Our goal is to have as much fun as we can while creating the funniest shorts and live performances. Check out our calender for events, like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter (you know the deal).
August. 1984. 5:47 PM. 17:47 Military time. In a cotton field just outside of Evening Shade, Oklahoma (pop: 359), a woman gave birth to a baby boy (pop:360 now) during a bugle concert covering the works of John Williams. Nobody knows who this child was. Around the same time in the state of Texas, another baby girl boy was born. She He was named Riley C. Morris. Youth was a daunting time for Mrs. Mr. Morris. Unable to speak until the age of ten due to a complete lack of Chinese takeout in his diet, Riley C (Use Your Imagination) Morris did not make friends easily. He always felt left out, excluded from all the reindeer games and picked on for his inability to grow back hair. Determined to find another way to make his mark on the world, Riley decided to enter the extremely competitive world of high school Russian Roulette. After finishing with an astonishing 42-4-4 record, he received a full athletic scholarship to Indiana University. Joining their Roulette team, Riley fell to the pressures of balancing academics and the year-round tournaments associated with the sport. After losing his first fifteen games, he dropped out and made a life for himself in Fort Worth, TX, where he met a young man fresh out of salt mine who longed to create a comedy group. The two men combined forces and delivered the comedy supergroup, “Shut Up and Prance” through the birth canals of their imaginations and determination. Recently, however, Riley has gone into hiding. The latest reports place him in Los Angeles, CA, where he has been seen sneaking into studios and viciously chopping up films so as to make them unrecognizable as moving pictures.
In West Philadelphia, born and raised, in an art class is where Naaman Rodges spent most of his days. Working diligently with oils and acrylics, his work was often condemned by teachers and fellow students alike as being too “green.” At first this did not deter young Naaman, who viewed these remarks as criticism of his veganism. He was never fond of the lack of animal and dairy products himself, but it kept his hair long and luxurious. After a fashion, Naaman had an awakening. Following a short prison sentence and the publication of his first novel detailing his struggles, he quit painting, began to eat meat, and took off on a trip across Europe. Without a full understanding of European customs, young Naaman found himself causing trouble across the region by rolling into places he was not invited. This continued for several years until he found himself on the Russian border. Beaten and battered by the cold, harsh weather, Naaman knew he needed a change. He retreated back to the United States, where he lived in his parents’ basement and worked in a salt mine. It was in here in the salt mine where Naaman found he had a knack for comedy. Being the only person working this particular mine, he would often think aloud and laugh at the echoes of his thoughts. He decided to leave the salt mine and his parents’ house and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, the comedy capital of Fort Worth, Texas. He met a fellow young comic and together they formed a group that would set out to conquer the world. They called it “Shut Up and Prance.”
Born as the heir to the chicken empire of Texas megacity Sinton, Nicholas McClanahan (known somewhat affectionately as “Li’l Chicky Nuggs” to friends and foes alike) moved to the much smaller DFW area after finding himself disenchanted by the world of fried goods. Inspired by the Steven Spielberg film, Amistad, Nick decided to turn his focus to the entertainment industry, namely comedy. Soon after landing in Fort Worth he found himself entangled in the mafia-eque world of local comedy group, Shut Up and Prance. After months of hazing—ironically including him standing in the middle of Sundance Square, tarred and feathered—the group completed his initiation once he finished construction on the 7th St. bridge. He quickly went to work to provide marketing, graphic design, and management to the group along with writing and performing with them.
Born to Irish Amish immigrants in the backseat of a wood-paneled station wagon, Justin "J-Gruv" Gruver hitchhiked his way across America before settling down in Fort Worth. After winning the perfect attendance award seven years in a row in elementary school, he saw an episode of Rescue 9-1-1 that forever changed his life. Putting aside his aspirations to be an art teacher for ESL students, he decided to pursue a career in comedy. In 2013, he fell in with the comedy group, Shut Up and Prance, and has since found himself writing, performing, poorly editing and designing for the group's many projects.
Shut Up and Prance wasn’t always perfect. Like most comedy troupes, they began their careers trying to get ahead whatever way they could. For Chris Taylor (Tay-Tay or BabyD), that meant releasing a silly joke, “Ooh, I Love You Rikishi”, for the movie Tommy Boy 1995. On the advice of his talking 1989 collectible Robocop™ figurine and Art Institute professor he cut the humorous, “Method Man” joke that went absolutely nowhere. Neither did the follow-up joke, “My Deadly Venti”. The experience strengthened his resolve to subvert and attack comedy conventions. He found friends while doing WMWC as well as some old dirty bastards. Which later became the crew that would evolve into the Shut Up and Prance within a year. Not to brag, but it’s totally mentioning to you jabronis that Chris Taylor stills holds the undisputed title as Fort Worth Comedy Heavy Weight Champion and he ain’t nothing to fuss with.
***The following was found carved into the tomb of a Knight of the Crusade in an old church in Venice. The rubbing was inconclusive (it happens to every guy), but scholars did the best they could. This is the tale of Antonio Juan Fransisco Villalobos "Tony" Diaz.***
Tony "Mantis Shrimp" Diaz was born in the summer of 1932 in a small village tucked away in the country side of Tuscany. As a young boy, he spent his days playing backgammon and throwing stones at the local fauna. His mother, a simple marketing executive and his father, a seagull, raised Anthony on a hearty diet of saltines and capers. They instilled in young Tonynok values of family, church, and not being a fucking cheater at pogs. These would be lessons that would follow him into his early teen years. After that, he bought a pair of roller skates. Tony left his humble village to follow his dreams in the town of Cheyenne Wyoming, where he became a butcher. After years of hawking different species of lizard and toad as "imitation crab meat", Tony rode in the back of a '76 suburban with a drifter named Chloe to the town of Fort Worth. Once he arrived he said "fuck all" and joined Wondercrust.
Growing up, Lee Power Littlefield never knew his father but his mother always said that he was a very brave warrior sent from the future to protect her from a murderous cyborg - cybernetic organism (living tissue over metal endoskeleton). When he was nine years old, a more advanced machine came through the time rift; we’ll call it… uh…C-1000. This one was a shape-shifter that used its malleable liquid metal design to alter its appearance to look like cops and family members, so that it could kill young Lee and prevent the future from swaying in favor of the humans. After a series of nuclear bombs (launched by the machine network) almost completely decimates the entire Earth and the machines rise against the humans in worldwide warfare, Littlefield will send his best soldier into the past to defend his mother from being killed. This is the only way that he can keep his unborn self from being destroyed with his mother. It just so happens that that soldier turns out to be Lee’s real father. Do the math. He will have to keep himself alive in the past, so that he can be born… in... the past, in order to grow up and fight the machines… in the future… or present…? Hopefully, he can prevent the day of… discernment? That’s got a nice ring to it; Discernment Day. Anyway, that’s Lee in a nutshell! As you can see he’s a goddamned genius and a bad ass.
He's the kind of man that can land a plane blindfolded, while playing the bagpipes. He plays left center in hockey, drunk. He regularly brews his own beer and packages it himself in lesser beer's bottles. He is asked to judge talent shows, in other countries for skills he knows nothing about, but could master them in seconds, but he won't because he's above it, but he totally still could, but he still won't. He carries a gun with him at all times, for that rare moment he needs to shoot down a rampaging jackalope through the wilderness of the Fairmount underbrush. His side hobby is bronzing statues for fun, he prefers eagles and caribou, or the even more rarely seen caribeagle.
He doesn't care who you are. He doesn't care what you want. If you are looking for boredom I can tell you he's not about it, but what he does have are a very particular set of skills. Skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you. If you come to his shows now, that'll be the end of it and you'll have a great time. But if you don't, he will look for you, he will find you and he will kill you. Then he will resuscitate you, so you can laugh your ass off.
His name is Chris Hale, and he is the most interesting man in Fort Worth. Unless he flies to another city, then he'll be the most interesting man in that city. Do you see how this works, because he'll know if you don't. You have been warned and you have been ChrisHale'd.
Now for the story of a wealthy comedy group who lost everything, and the one woman who had no choice to keep them all together, it’s Jessica Hoover. Having been exposed to massive amounts of radiation from working at the local nuclear power plant, Jessica found out one day that she had a superhuman sense of humor, enhanced comedic timing and twice the strength of two humans who are half as strong as an average human. Knowing what she must do, she left behind her home at Evergreen Terrace (much to the dis-diddly-may of her neighborinos) and found a nice house to share with some very nice elderly ladies in Miami. After they helped her train to be even funnier (and be true of heart, a pal and a confidant), she traveled down the road to Fort Worth and, after a brief love affair with an ice cream sandwich, joined the Shut Up and Prance family. Her talent is golden and, if you miss out on a Jessica Hoover performance, you’ll have made a huge mistake.
They say that dynamite comes in small packages. Forget that nonsense. She is a force that can only be rivaled by the Old Ones. She'll draw you in with a welcoming smile and grant you a continued safe journey with fond memories of her humor. If you're unfortunate enough to see her smile disappear, that's your cue to reevaluate your actions. She's strict, yet fair, and always funny. Her knowledge of beer and profanity is seldom matched. We at Shut Up and Prance are lucky enough to call her our friend (and often "ReRun") and we know you'll call her talented and funny; our Jenna Opfer.
Sam Dobbin’s life is made of equal parts amateur lumberjacking and whiskey. Reared in the wild by a gaggle of ginger bearded
lumber and lady jacks, Sam’s earliest memories were of hoe downs
and drinking contests after a long day ax wielding. Shunned by
society Sam’s clan of heavy drinking soulless gingers settled down
in what is now the Sabine National Forrest. Much like Davey
Crockett before him Sam slaughtered his first coon at the age of
three and by seven he was drinking full grown men and lumbering
bearded women under the table. It would prove to be one of his
Tragedy would soon befall young Sammy Dobbs at the age of ten when his sainted lumber mother passed from this plane into the eternal forest in the sky. Distraught with loss of the only lady jack he ever loved Sam left the confinement of the forest and the dark memories they held and made his way to Fort Worth, TX to find his fortune.
He would soon learn that life is hard in the big city when you’re an burly ginger lumberjack. But he soon found his feet. A local watering hole put him to work slinging whiskey and other drinks and Sam’s penchant for out drinking even the most formidable foes made him something of an urban legend. And since Fort Worth is a town build on legends, that means Sam Dobbin is in rarified air.
Sam lends his drinking and comedy talents to Shut Up and Prance and is a proud member of the Wondercrust Movie Watchers Club. He can be found in Fort Worth, Tx wherever fine whiskies are sold or where there’s a microphone and a chance to make someone laugh. If you see him have him regale you with the tale of cheap rosé.
One of our favorite events, the Wondercrust Movie Watcher's Club is our way of giving back to cinema...by mocking terrible movies of the past in a live setting, complete with free popcorn, drinking games and prizes. On the last Thursday of every month, Shut Up and Prance takes you out to the movies in "style".
Like most of you reading this, some of our best moments weren't planned and happened by accident (ask your parents). Shut Up and Prance is a huge fan of the art of improv, and several members of our merry band of misfits put on improv shows and events all over Fort Worth. Get it while it's hot.
Do it yourself: a terrible plan for building a flamethrower, but a wonderful philosophy for our short films and sketches. Shut Up and Prance likes to dip it's hand in making bite-sized bits of film for your (and, let's face it, our) amusement. They should be just down below, unless the cat's gotten into them.
What, you thought we could be contained in just 3 paragraphs? Ha! Think again! Shut Up and Prance never likes to sit still for too long, nor do we sit down period, so we're always trying new ventures to keep you, you in the back and that guy trying to leave early, perpetually in good humor. Check back and see if we've got that one thing you always thought was funny, but were too crazy to try.