Talarico-Koetz comedy collaboration to screen at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival

Three former performer/writers who worked together at The Second City combined their considerable comedy talents in a comedy short directed by award-winning spot director Leroy Koetz.

The payoff: “Jakarta Boom Boom” will be one of 19 comedy shorts presented at the prestigious and career-boosting HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Feb. 9-13.

The 12-minute short is based on a performance of the improvisational group “Dasariski,” comprised of co-writer/performers Craig Cackowski, Robert Dassie and Rich Talarico.

The story revolves around three American businessmen who are trapped in a hotel suite above a raging riot in the Jakarta streets. Earlier that evening Justin Tealy (Dassie), an IBM rep, hosted a small gathering. Now the party is over and two stragglers Vic Taranga (Cackowski) and Lester Bragg (Talarico) who work for Pillsbury, won’t take the subtle hints that it might be time to leave. As the two guests get more comfortable, Justin soon has concerns about Vic and Lester’s sexuality. As tensions rise both outside the hotel and in the suite, the three men come face to face with a high-powered local narcotic called “Jakarta Boom Boom”, which has a “ten second high followed immediately by two weeks of living hell?” Strangers in a strange land, never come home the same.

Executive producers were Talarico and Koetz, collaborators on three previous short comedy films. They produced and shot on location in L.A. John Koetz scored the original music and mixed the sound track.

Cackowski and Dassie are L.A.-based, while Rich Talarico, a frequent and popular guest of the Chicago Short Video & Film Festival, is a staff writer at “Saturday Night Live” in New York, after a three-year stint at MADtv in L.A.

Koetz is agency Schafer Condon Carter’s executive broadcast producer. He is best known as the director of the long-running Leo Burnett Cheer detergent campaign featuring actor JoBe Cerny.

“Jakarta Boom Boom” premiered in July 2004 at the 7th Annual Chicago Short Comedy fest, along with Talarico and Koetz’s 48-minute road documentary, “Mile Marker,” chronicling the quirky side of traveling from Chicago to L.A. by car.

The HBO-sponsored U.S. Comedy Arts Festival founded in 1995, will present more than 70 shows over four days, in support and nurturing of comedic talent in live performance, writing film, theatre and television.