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Theatre / Greater Tuna

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Greater Tuna is the first play in a series of four starring Jaston Williams and Joe Sears, who between them play at least twenty-four different characters.

Greater Tuna shows us what goes on in the day-to-day life of the many characters, but focuses the most on the chaotic family of one Bertha Bumiller. Other recurring characters of note include Vera Carp, leader of the Smut-Snatchers of the New Order, Petey Fisk of the Greater Tuna Humane Society, Arles Struvie and Thurston Wheelis of Radio Station OKKK, and Didi Snavely of Didi's Used Weapons.

The series includes:

Greater Tuna (premiered 1981)
A Tuna Christmas (premiered 1989)
Red, White and Tuna (premiered 1998)
Tuna Does Vegas (premiered 2008)

Greater Tuna provides examples of:

A Tuna Christmas provides examples of:

  • Against My Religion: Played straight and Subverted
  • Alien Abduction: R.R. Snavely. He hesitates for a second or two, then wholeheartedly sprints to the waiting UFO to escape his horrible wife.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Aunt Pearl, Dixie Deberry, and Didi Snavely's mother are the Christmas Phantom.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bertha.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Dixie refuses to allow the Tuna Little Theater to pay their electric bill late because it will lead to a Communist invasion.
  • Little People Are Surreal: Farley and Phoebe Buckhalter, the latter of which is played by a beehive hairdo on a stick manipulated by a stagehand.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Vera has the Christmas Carol Silent Night banned because it mentions "round young virgins". Bertha corrects her, but Vera then decides to leave it banned because singing about virgins is "too catholic".
  • Over The Top Christmas Decorations: A subplot is a three-way battle for Tuna's best Christmas yard display between Vera, whose display includes a nativity scene with live sheep, Santa Claus, Bing Crosby, the Grinch, and Natalie Wood, Didi Snaveley's pie pan Christmas tree lit by surplus military floodlights that causes retina damage if looked at for too long, and Helen and Ineda's 'All I Want for Christmas': two life-sized cowboy mannequins stuffed inside gift sacks. Helen and Ineda win.
  • Rich Bitch: Vera Carp: "Normally, I'd pay the theater's light bill, but Lord, times are so hard. W.H. and I could barely afford new cars this year."
  • Running Gag: Didi singing Christmas songs, interrupted by drags on her ever-present cigarette.
    Didi: "Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul, with a (inhales)...(exhales) out of coal."
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Leonard Childer's wife. "She could track a flea across a pane of glass."

Red White and Tuna provides examples of: