‘SUCK MY TONGUE’ – The Internet Age Seen Through “Marx Brothers Colored Glasses”

By Ernest Kearney — During the 1950s, when advances in the field of computer sciences first emerged on the world stage, with all its future promise and potential shimmering in the eyes of dreamers like J.C.R Licklider, Larry Roberts, Tim Berners-Lee and others the Internet was conceived as an arena of research and collaboration for great minds and ideas. 

But about a year ago the Internet had yet another opportunity to do what has come to be recognized as its true purpose – which is to pluck innocuous or nonsequential elements from humanity’s global mosh pit, then to magnify and distort the same into either apophonic aspects of some all-consuming conspiracy theory or lob like red meat into the midst of the wolf packs which passes for social debate nowadays.

That “element” a year ago was His Holiness the Dalai Lama asking a young boy to “suck his tongue.”  The event at the center of Benjamin Schwartz’s aptly entitled play Suck My Tongue.

Schwartz, who also directs, has corralled the implosion of madness resulting from this event into the confines of an American PR team employed to do spin control by the Gaden Phodrang Foundation (I’m assuming, as I had a tad bit of trouble hearing some of the play due to my poor choice in seating.)

Schwartz has a skilled and talented cast in Ryan Lisman, Jaz Dicey, Spencer Weitzel and Brian Graves and his direction slings up the manic mad-cap of his script nicely.  This is the “wackiest” work Schwartz has brought to the Fringe, and I found it eminently entertaining.  (Though I did think the insanity of the situation worked best when it arose from the quartet’s own collective maladroitness.)

Suck My Tongue is intended to be the debut production of the Catharsis Theatre Collective and it has the potential of serving that function very well. 


Suck My Tongue

Playing During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024


The Broadwater (Black Box)

6322 Santa Monica Blvd.


Sunday June 23 2024, 8:00 PM | 1hr

Saturday June 29 2024, 4:30 PM | 1hr


Ernest Kearney - author

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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