Super Trashed Bros: The Drinking Game/Comedy Show/Video Game Tourney
The crowd of people, many of whom wandered into this dive bar without any intention other than a stiff drink after a long day at work, has come alive. Scanning the rowdy mob assembled at the rear of the bar does little to clarify what is happening. There are skaters and barflies and techies and comedians and finance bros and teachers and tourists and what looks to be a man in nothing other than a pair of red underwear. At first their raucousness is unintelligible, and then it becomes clear. They are chanting.
“RA-CHEL! RA-CHEL! RA-CHEL!”
After a moment, the chanting fades to a chatter as most of the mob pulls a swig from their drinks in honor of their champion, and the next competitors are ushered to their stools by the loud nerds with the microphones. This is Super Trashed Bros., a drinking game inside of a video game tournament inside of a comedy show.
The show has taken many shapes in its nearly four years of existence, with humble roots at Stork Club in Oakland followed by a three year residency at Soda Popinski’s in San Francisco. As of today, the live show, or some version of it, runs six times a month, at three different venues, on two different coasts of the country. On top of that, every single event Super Trashed Bros. puts on, as well as some additional content, is streamed live on the Internet via Twitch TV. They mostly play the game of their namesake, Super Smash Brothers, but have dabbled in Mario Kart, Street Fighter, Mario Party, NBA Jam, pinball, Jenga, and everything in between.
What started as nothing more than a silly idea (what if we did what we do at my apartment, but in a bar) between two bullshitting friends (myself and OJ Patterson) has blossomed into a show worthy of gracing the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle (!). Last week, they hosted a private event for the Twitch.tv team at their headquarters in San Francisco that landed them on the front page of the website. The recipe for this success is simple: Have a shitload of fun, and make sure everyone there is included in that fun, and is enjoying themselves just as much as you are.
Most important to the show’s evolution is the ethos that has been a part of its fiber from day one: community. Despite the show’s niche appeal and contradictory DNA (a tournament for non-competitive people, a social event for folks who are historically anti-social, a comedy show created by two comedians frustrated with stand-up), on any given night it feels more like a house party than an organized event. People don’t just show up because it’s something to do or because there are prizes to be won, they show up because, to not be there, would be to miss out on a night of debauchery with close friends. This has translated seamlessly to the East Coast expansion of the event, where the same cult following that powers the San Francisco show has begun to develop, even in its relative infancy.
A closer look at the crowd that night reveals that the man in the red underwear is actually cosplaying as Zangief from Street Fighter, and he is sporting the punny gamer handle “ZanGRIEF”. Rachel, whose name is being chanted, is one half of a married couple wearing nothing but skin colored briefs and matching shirts with the word “Mimosa” on them. The skater in the corner looks on in wonder as he sucks down a bottle of champagne he won earlier in the night. Super Trashed Bros. is a place where friendships and rivalries are formed. Phone numbers are exchanged. Legends are born.