Rival Sketch Comedy Troupes Linked To Latham Stabbing

By Dodie Fingerton

Published February 2nd, 2015

LATHAM — State and local police are on high alert after members of a sketch comedy troupe based in Menands fled the scene of a stabbing at a Latham McDonalds.  

Authorities believe Nate Howser, 43, and Skip Jarmush, 45, of The Stainsmen, stabbed rival comedy troupe member Kyle Jennings, 48, of The Big Fat Pianists on Thursday evening after an altercation in the parking lot of the restaurant.  

Police say the weapon — a Pratt-Reid Stubby Slotted Screwdriver with masking tape on the handle — was found at the scene and that Howser and Jarmusch fled in a Black 2002 Volkswagen Jetta.  

While there was no apparent motive for the stabbing, sources close to the investigation believe the two troupes have been unable to reconcile a long-standing feud concerning a sketch about a passive-aggressive Pope.  

This marks the third episode of sketch comedy troupe-related violence in Albany County this year.  

Back in February, Brad Geiger, 47, of Dreaded Yoga Shorts, was charged with first-degree murder when he allegedly shot 45 year-old Dennis McMahon of Meatball Pudding. Three weeks later, Fat Relative funny man Toby Willis, 42, allegedly smothered Dell Farson — of The Porky-Armed Syndicate — with a wig.  

Both suspects are currently in Albany County jail awaiting trial.  

Many believe the violence among area sketch comedy acts ignited last spring after Terry Swinson, 39, of Rabbitless, was found choking on a balloon backstage at Albany's Dutch Heritage and Wooden Shoe Festival.  

Dennison, who doctors say is expected to make a full recovery, emerged from a coma last week. He's listed in stable condition at Albany Medical Center.  

Initially, Police did not suspect criminal activity in the Dennison case. But in light of the most recent violence, they now believe the 46-year-old performer was arguing with members of the comedy troupe Kevin's Hamster minutes before the choking was reported by shoe enthusiasts attending the festival.  

According to police, Dennison’s been uncooperative since regaining consciousness, leading to speculation that he plans to handle the matter on his own, posing yet another challenge for the newly formed Albany County Sketch Comedy Troupe Task Force — otherwise widely known simply as the ACSCTTF.


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