I’m on my book tour, writing from a hotel in downtown Atlanta where I paid twenty bucks for a salad and my waiter told me that if you’re too nice to a stripper she’ll follow you home from the club like a ‘lost pup.’ You know what I could use right now? A personalized comedy roast.
Luckily, Cayse Llorens has my back. The brains behind CelebTango, Llorens aims to bring personalized comedy into your home (or in my case, freezing cold hotel room). While CelebTango also offers live comedy shows, Llorens says digital CelebTangos are more popular. Why?
“It’s a blast to interact with a star on the big screen,” says Llorens. “The comedian can be a headliner in L.A. who just performed at The Laugh Factory and they can step backstage and rock your party in Chicago. Your brother in D.C. can login and be a part of the fun. Oh yeah, and your sister who’s studying abroad in France can be the birthday girl you’re all there to roast. Afterwards, you can all keep a copy of the whole digital show to watch over and over or email it to grandma in Fort Lauderdale.”
Sounds great. Now can someone airlift me in a carrot that doesn’t cost 82 dollars?
Our Town What inspired you to form CelebTango?
Cayse Llorens Three of my favorite comedians performed at my birthday party in my apartment for my family and friends. The experience was magical: personal, interactive, and just an awesome new way to experience a live performance. My dad was basically heckling the comedians, but they loved it and incorporated him into the show. It was awesome, and every comedy club I went to after that left me craving the personal experience we had enjoyed at my party. I knew then that I had to share this experience with the world.
OT Why go through CelebTango when you could just go to a comedy club?
CL Imagine sitting in your living room watching a Dave Chappelle blu-ray on your 50 inch LCD T.V. Suddenly Dave comes alive and starts calling you by your name, teasing you about your abnormal fear of baby corn, and joking about the purple couch you’re sitting on. You joke back and you’re actually part of the show! Now imagine keeping an HD quality copy of the experience to share with your family and friends [so] you can show them a personal comedy experience you had with your favorite celebrity. That’s the magic of CelebTango.
OT How do your comedians customize their sets for a particular paying customer?
CL All of our customers fill out a simple questionnaire that we share with their Celeb. When the Tango happens, our comedians already know what really tickles your funny bone, what topics to be sure to include and what sensitive subjects to avoid.
OT What’s in it for the comedian?
CL It’s fun, convenient, and a great new source of income for both hilarious rising stars and world-renowned A-Listers alike. Fun because for the first time they can make a room full of people laugh until they cry through our sophisticated yet easy to use group video chat technology. Convenient because our comedians can perform a professional, celebrity-grade Tango from anywhere in the world with a laptop and high speed internet connection. New source of income because right now there are a lot of very talented comedians who basically only do 1 show a night, only on Friday and Saturday, and sacrifice a lot of opportunities across town or in another city. CelebTango empowers them to rock parties in LA, Chicago, the U.K., and Podunk Idaho all in the same night!
Let's talk about how the lamp behind me looks like a sex toy for giants and the apple on my laptop has mutated.
OT You were chosen to be part of 1871 housed in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. How did that come about?
CL Over 400 companies applied and we were honored to be one of 65 selected to participate in this “Silicon Valley in Chicago.” There’s an independent review panel of 9 judges who combed through the pool of applicants to identify the most promising digital start-ups who have demonstrated the potential to succeed in executing their vision, and could impact the world in a great way. Or in other words, they understood our vision of revolutionizing the future of interactive digital entertainment and agreed that our team was talented enough to transform our vision into reality.
OT What are your future goals for the CelebTango?
CL To deliver a great new comedy experience to comedy fans everywhere, to grow the CelebTango community, and to continue to innovate in the direct to fan space. We’d love to partner with comedy clubs and comics to help them deliver the great comedic experience they provide in their clubs directly into people’s homes. The first 100 Our Town readers to follow us on twitter and tweet “CelebTango is comedy on steroids” will get their first Tango for a laughably low $10. Guaranteed you’ll love it or your money back! You’ll be supporting awesome comedians, small business, and taking part in the digital comedy revolution.
Learn more at the CelebTango blog.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," (Soft Skull press) is available for pre-order here. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
IMPORTANT: the official Our Town site doesn't support comments. Join in the conversation by following facebook.com/OurTownBlog.ChicagoSunTimes and Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez and Facebook.