Jacksonville, FL, May 12, 2014 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- According to entertainment historians, the longest sustained laughter in radio history came during Jack Benny's "Your Money or Your Life" routine -- an outburst that lasted 32 seconds. Television history was made in the "Lucy Raises Chickens" episode of I Love Lucy, where the audience laughed at one particular gag for more than two minutes.
Playwright Jay Huling's new comedy The Sing Sing Suite recently made theatre history at its world premiere May 9 at the Washington County Playhouse when the audience’s sustained laughter at the climax's "Champagne Bit" lasted for more than four minutes.
"Some people think that kind of cachinnation slows down the pace of a performance," said Huling, "but when your work is compared with great moments of laughter from The Tonight Show, The Carol Burnett Show, or All in the Family, I'll take a showstopper every time."
The record-breaking moment comes toward the end of Act II of The Sing Sing Suite when the main character is trying to have a secret romantic rendezvous with an unrequited love interest. With the lights dimmed to create a tender mood, he struggles to open a Champagne bottle -- putting it between his legs to gain more leverage. He is seen in silhouette trying to uncork the stopper, and the double entendre is both obvious and side-splitting hilarious.
"It's a genuinely funny moment that combines a lot of psychological playwriting techniques to produce laughter from an audience," said Huling. "There are elements of surprise, exaggeration, uncomfortableness, incongruity, misdirection, and a little bit of a naughty feeling all rolled into one.
Huling, who is from Cincinnati, Ohio and now resides in Jacksonville, Florida, is perhaps best known for his absurd comedy Elvis of Nazareth -- which was selected as one of "America’s Best Short Plays" and published by Applause Books.
The Sing Sing Suite runs through June 22 at the Washington County Playhouse in Maryland. Tickets are $39 and can be purchased by calling 301-739-SHOW (7469). Advanced reservations are required. Performances follow dinner, which begins at 6:00 p.m.
The theater is located at 44 North Potomac Street in Hagerstown, Maryland 21740. More information is available at the Washington County Playhouse's website: www.wcpdt.com.
More information about playwright Jay Huling is available at www.jayhuling.com.