Ethan Downey, 20, is currently resting peacefully at West Mission Hospital after a serious injury in a college black box theatre late last night. Students paid $5 to see a performance from the university’s improvisational comedy group, Cowboys & Dicks, but got a little more than what they expected.
“When I’m not out there talking, busting balls with funniness, I still want people to know that I’m great. I mean, the audience can still see me for Christ’s sake. Why would I not try to be as cool as possible on the back line, when I’m not performing and referencing awesome shit like a Drake lyric or something, to still win them over?”
Downey is a rambunctious young man studying public relations. Though his leg is in a cast and both eyes blackened, his spirits seemed high as ever when we spoke with him in his hospital room earlier this morning. “Crank Yankers” was blasting on the television as he described the various techniques he uses to make the most of his back line time.
“Oh, you know, I’ll put my leg up on a chair next me and kneel forward on my knee like I’m thinking really hard about something in the scene. Or I’ll squat down and pretend to eagerly eye what’s going on in the scene but really I’m just trying to show the girls in the audience my muscle endurance. It’s hard to squat that long, dude.”
The injury occurred when Downey whipped out his phone to look nonchalant about the whole “improv” thing. The scene being performed by his teammates was about a high school student and teacher and Downey wanted the perfect joke to tag in with. The phone exploded due to overheating from a radiator transmitting heat from directly behind the backstage wall, the shards of plastic giving Ethan his black eyes, making him temporarily blind and causing him to break his leg after knocking into the chair next to him and thinking it was an enemy, trying to wrestle it.
Ethan will continue to improvise, though after this incident he will move to another improv group on campus called The Margarita Moxie Maidens. It is an all-female group, however, and when we asked Ethan why he chose this route, he angrily replied, “Whaddya think?!” We also asked him if he has any regrets.
“My one regret is that I never got to make my joke! AH, shit, it was soo funny. It was like, ‘Oh, you’re in high school?! Where’s Drake, huh? He played a kid in high school on that show!'”
Ethan Downey did not have time to finish his phone search before the explosion. We assume his reference would have been much more specific otherwise.