Being named one of the "10 Best New Standup Shows in L.A." by L.A. Weekly is a lot of pressure for a toddler, but the standup comedy show "2 Girls 1 Pup" is handling the praise with maturity beyond its years, as "the comedy show you can bring your dog to" prepares to celebrate its two-year anniversary on Sunday in Hollywood Hills.
Not being one to rest on its haunches, the show has added lots of extra bells and whistles for humans and canines, alike, who will attend its birthday party event Sunday at Tailwaggers pet store in the Franklin Village neighborhood of Hollywood Hills, California.
"It's our second birthday, which as you know is 14 in dog years," says Monique Madrid, the show's founding host and Second City improviser. "So we've got a lot of teenage angst going on."
To celebrate the occasion, there will be door prizes, "doggy bags," extra raffle prizes, and birthday cake, in addition to the usual "pup"-corn, adult beverages, caricature artist and giveaways.
The lineup for Sunday includes Ian Karmel ("Conan," writer for "The Late Late Show with James Corden"), magician Justin Wilman ("Fake Believe Tour," "Ellen"), impressionist Melissa Villasenor ("America's Got Talent," "Family Guy") and Kate Willett ("Bridgetown Comedy Festival," "Comedy Central"), among other surprise guests.
The concept for "2 Girls 1 Pup" was born when Madrid moved to Los Angeles from Chicago two years ago, searching to make a unique mark in the city of angels.
Soon after her move, Madrid walked into her local pet store with Comet the Pup, found what she called "this great, open space," and the idea just clicked. With Los Angeles being such a dog-centric city, Madrid's show quickly took off and has been happening the first Sunday of every month for the last two years.
"It's such a fun way to spend time with your pup," Madrid says. "Audiences and their dogs return regularly for the unpredictability and adorableness, not to mention the funny, that happens when you invite dogs to a comedy show."
In addition to providing an entertaining dog-friendly evening, the show is also woman-friendly. As the name suggests, even though Madrid's co-host changes each month, the one thing that remains the same is that it's always a woman.
"Part of the reason that I wanted to start a show is to give women more opportunities to do comedy," Madrid says. "I [also always] make sure my lineup has at least equal women, because it's not hard to do."
Regardless of availability and volume, many times while working in comedy, Madrid has found herself in positions where she is the only woman in the room. "I feel like until more women out there just see more women doing what they want to do, and it becomes a normal thing, it's always going to be a challenge," she says.
When it comes to making your mark in the entertainment industry, Madrid says women and men can all benefit from overcoming the fear of failure. She says improvising has taught her that you can fail and still learn something great.
"You just have to find what you're passionate about, and just do it," Madrid says. "Say yes, and then figure it out later."
The latest thing that Madrid has figured out is how to run the "pup"-cast, a weekly podcast and companion piece to the monthly live show. Madrid posted episode 25 on Wednesday. You can find the "Dogs In Your Neighborhood" episode, as well as past episodes, on the "2 Girls 1 Pup" website and on iTunes.
The two-year anniversary "2 Girls 1 Pup Show" will be held Sunday night at Tailwaggers pet store, near the intersection of Bronson and Franklin avenues in Franklin Village.
Tickets for this event are $5 (cash only, at the door only), with the option to buy raffle tickets for prizes or donate more to The Tailwaggers Foundation.
All proceeds benefit the foundation, a non-profit organization that provides funding to supply life-saving treatment to sick and injured animals.
As the website for the show says, "It's all FUR a good PAWS!"
The red carpet opens for the "2 Girls 1 Pup Show" at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
1929 N. Bronson Ave., Hollywood Hills; (323) 464-9600, 2girls1pupshow.com.