The Lee County Flannel Club is not a group of avid flannel wearers like some may think, but instead it is an improv comedy troupe.
In 2012, when the group was founded, all members were wearing flannel at the time, according to Patrick Thomley, senior in visual media studies and president of LCFC. Today, the troupe honors the name and wear flannel shirts at each of their performances.
Thomley said improv troupes tend to have misleading names.
“It’s kind of meant to get your attention and go, ‘Wait, what is this?’” he said.
The club often attracts members who don’t know what improv is, but he said it’s been helpful to a wide range of people from theater to business majors.
“For comedy you want juxtaposition and you want different perspectives,” Thomley said. “It’s about learning how to work with other people.”
The club used to meet twice a week for two hours at the Melton Student Center and performed twice during a semester. Normally, the troupe would perform in the “Theatre Upstairs” at the Telfair Peet Theatre. Due to COVID-19, the club has moved its skills to an online web series called “Flannel Talk.”
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LCFC launched the web series over quarantine and since then have released three episodes which can be found on YouTube. Thomley leads the sketch comedy series as the host of a public access television show for Lee County where the interviews often go wrong and the commercials are strange, he said.
“The commercials are different sketches that are all written by me and made in collaboration with all the members of the club,” Thomley said. “And they’re all very weird, but we have gotten a pretty good response thus far.”
Thomley is unsure about what the future holds for the comedy club as the pandemic lingers on. The web series has been a safer alternative to the club’s typical in-person improv shows.
“It’s very hard to record an improv show and watch it and it be as funny as it was when you were there because it’s all about the intimacy of the room,” Thomley said.
The club is accepting of all members who wish to join and must audition to showcase some of their skills.
“You just have to be able to be a nice person and keep a scene going. If we can work with that we can try to figure out where the laughs came come from.”
Through the club, Thomley made new friends his freshman year at Auburn and has meant a lot to him and the other members of the group. Thomley said that the club has become an opportunity to laugh and share laughter with others, especially during the pandemic.
“I’m weird, we’re all weird in the flannel club, so we made a fun, weird show,” Thomley said.
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