T.J. Miller might be a big television star playing an epic character on a hit comedy series on HBO, and he might have a role in one of the most talked about and hush hush movies currently in production– of course we’re talking about Silicon Valley and Deadpool. And he had a trip to the Oscars this year after a great vocal performance in the animated movie Big Hero 6. But his big time fame hasn’t gone to his head and we were thrilled to see him reunite with some old friends this weekend at Chicago’s Sketch Fest performing with the sketch group he helped form in 2004, Heavyweight.
Miller and his fellow sketch-mates tore up the theater at Stage 773, leaving a mess in their wake, and thrilling the crowd in attendance. There was physicality everywhere, with sight gags, pratt falls and spit takes all over the place. The performance included a thrilling stomach turning attempt by Miller to eat record amounts of Chicago Beef Sandwich while troupe members assaulted him and his sandwich with hot sauce. There was also romance– Miller woo’ed a pretty girl using skeleton hands and all his many charms. A outlandish sketch involving clown horns and party poppers left theater managers with some heavy duty clean up, and there was a clever sketch about a homeless improv artist played by Vatterott just trying to get a podcast going.
It was amazing to see Miller in that environment now that he’s become so well know on the big and small screens. He founded Heavyweight along with sketch-mates Mark Raterman, Nick Vatterott, and Brady Miller in 2004. Raterman, Vatterott and Miller were also incredibly talented and funny, and all have their own career successes to be proud of. Vatterott is an emerging heavyweight in the stand up world, Raterman is writing for television, and Novak has had recurring roles on Community, Mash Up, and Weeds.
Next up, Miller can be seen hosting the Critics Awards on Sunday January 17th on A&E. Bring your own hot sauce.