The Bitter Business Bureau | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Bitter Business Bureau 

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The Bitter Business Bureau, ComedySportz. At first glance the business world seems a rich source of comedy. But most writers never get beyond mocking the most obvious aspects of corporate life: dumb bosses, insane politics, stifling environments, eccentric office mates. Consider Dave Gaudet, Rob Maxey, and Jeff Siegel's sweet but shallow look at American business. Most of the sketches, though pretty well performed by a cast of seasoned comic actors, are no better than the stuff improvisers come up with on the fly. Especially tired is a running gag about motivational mottoes, a comic subgenre that was getting threadbare a decade ago when SNL started running Jack Handey's quotations.

A deeper problem is that these writers--like almost everyone else who's tried to skewer the corporate world, Dilbert's Scott Adams included--are either too timid to really take on the system or so brainwashed they can't imagine another way of life. It would be refreshing to see an Oobleck-style full-fledged critique of corporate life, but though these people say they're bitter, they're really just chronic complainers of the sort routinely found in break rooms. Otherwise they might actually contemplate changing themselves, their work, or both.

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