When Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp announced his plan to build a permanent colony on Mars more than 200000 people applied to go on the one-way mission. Absent from that pool of wannabe colonists is local comedian Sarah Adams who despite semi-affectionately referring to Earth as a “garbage planet” finds a trip to the red planet to be a horrifying prospect.

“What if something went wrong? I can’t imagine how scary that would be” says Adams of the planned Mars One colony. “You could argue that we’re on a dying planet and there’s a weird sadness that Mars is our next best option. And Mars sucks. It would be like living in a frozen desert where you can’t breathe the air. It’s inhospitable yet that’s our next best option which is ridiculous.”

It’s the absurdity of humanity hopping from one doomed rock to another that inspired Adams — along with screenwriter Jason Filiatrault and producer Amy Darling — to form the premise of Mars Two their TV show-to-be. The three had always wanted to work together and jumped at the chance to join forces to compete in the CBC’s ComedyCoup an accelerator program where teams complete challenges for a chance at a $500000 development deal.

After hearing about the ComedyCoup the trio fleshed out the idea of their sci-fi comedy: When disaster strikes the Mars One colony the eponymous Mars Two is built in the Canadian Arctic and manned by six astronaut rejects charged with the task of troubleshooting problems so future colonies won’t have to.

The theme of the show couldn’t be a more perfect fit for the team. Adams produces a monthly sci-fi radio play on CJSW called Sweepers which focuses on space rejects who clean up the mess left by epic space battles. And Filiatrault is the mind behind the Twitter account @SarcasticRover a parody of the Mars Curiosity Rover that boasts more than 123000 followers.

It appears to be a match made in outer space as the team has recently slid into the Top 55 of the ComedyCoup. But joining them in the higher ranks are three other Calgary shows: political satire The Hill CBC spoof The Cutbacks and Fictions a show about a bad marketing team.

“We’ve all been through the insanity of the first four challenges and there’s no room for anything but support for each other because it’s really hard” says Adams. “I think they’re great and I totally respect them as comedians actors and writers. So there’s no room for bad blood.”

With a worthy premise and solid competition the Mars Two team is ready to bolster their fan base by way of a comedy show. The night will feature comedy from Adams (a Fast Forward Weekly Best Local Comedian alumnus) Jeff D’Silva Gina Freeman and Jeff Toth but most importantly it will be “hosted” by the deceased scientist Carl Sagan.

“Part of my mandate as a comedian is I’m really into experimental and weird fun stuff” says Adams. “I’m going to see what I can do to make it as ridiculous as possible while still being a worthwhile night. It will be hosted by the late Carl Sagan. It’s going to be so silly but I’m a big fan of his so it will be respectful.”

The comedy show is intended to boost Mars Two’s status in the ComedyCoup. Voting for the top 15 shows in the contest kicks off on November 6 the same day as the show and free admission will be offered to anyone who likes their project on the ComedyCoup website. That said Adams is certain Mars Two has a life beyond the Coup.

“It would be great to win but we’re not in it to win” says Adams. “It sounds weird to say but we’re mostly interested in this process to develop as a team putting the best work we can out there and creating a show that would do well in any case…. We’re not going to change what we’re doing to appease the CBC. We’re making the show as it is because we love it. It’s just something we want to make.”

MARS TWO PRESENTS: ARE THERE JOKES ON MAAARS? takes place on Thursday November 6 at Local 510.

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