'Sitcom Night' creators turn love of television into vehicle for new comedy show in Bethlehem

(Courtesy Image)

(Courtesy Image)

Evan Stutts and Richie Warmkessel have turned their lifelong love and fascination with television into a vehicle for a new comedy show in Bethlehem.

The two Lehigh Valley-based comedians are the creative force behind, “Sitcom Night: Sweeps Week,” which makes its debut tonight at SteelStacks.

In an email, Stutts explains that the genesis of the show sprouted from his and Warmkessel’s shared interest in what happens in front of — and behind — the camera on the set of a television show. “Sitcom Night” will feature three separate, 22-minute TV show “pilots,” with fake commercials — advertising what Stutts describes as “absurd products that the cast wrote” — serving as interludes between each show.

There will also be a prerecorded laugh track, providing the audience the experience of attending a television show taping, complete with crowd participation.

“‘Sitcom Night’ (started) as a funny idea between Richie and I, being so heavily influenced by television as kids and imagining what it would be like to be on the set; watching the actors, taking part in the laugh tracks,” Stutts says. “Some of these television shows we grew up with and love are so transformative with a live audience.”

Warmkessel, in the email, echoes Stutts’ excitement for capturing that small screen magic. “I am excited to work on such a unique collaborative show with such a talented cast. I hope a lot of people can come see it and get a sense of what we do, and most importantly, brace yourself for the next one.”

Stutts was a founding member of former Bethlehem-based improvisational comedy troupe ManDudeBro. The group retired in December 2017. Warmkessel was recently the subject of ArtsQuest’s “The Roast of Richie Warmkessel".

“Sitcom Night: Sweep’s Week” will have two performances, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, in the Fowler Blast Furnace Room of the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Tickets cost $9-$10.