REVIEW: Moral Hazard @ Chemically Imbalanced Comedy

An Educational Comedy

Moral HazardMoral Hazard” is a two-man sketch comedy that explores the roots and consequences of the 2008/2009 financial crisis. Walt Delaney, Chandler Goodman  and director Mark Logsdon have gone where few would ever dare venture and have wound up with a great comedic and educational success.


The show opens with Goodman delivering a monologue foreshadowing extreme circumstances that fueled the economic downfall. Coincidentally, this was also the year Delaney graduated from college. From here on, we are educated on facts and true stories of our country’s crisis, all told through Delaney’s first-hand experience. The story follows him as he begins the job hunt and ultimately agrees to work for a local auto loan finance company, having no idea what he’s getting himself into.

Goodman pulls out a children’s story book to explain America’s production transformation through the tales of a man, his toaster and the rhyming patterns of Dr. Seuss. With the takeaway being “we can buy anything when we take out big debt.” It isn’t long before we watch Delaney realize he’s selling auto loans to people who can’t afford to pay them back. The consequences of this slowly starts to sink in.

Goodman continues his economic lessons with the assistance of dolls, flip-charts and a German financial analyst. We learn about the deregulation of the 1999 Glass-Steagall Act, Collateralized Debt Obligations and credit default swaps. As the story progresses, we are brought to a newsroom with a demanding editor looking for “news that sells,” and the obvious stories of debt sweeping the nation are not deemed newsworthy. So they don’t run. Journalists and editors around the country knew this was coming, but were kept quiet, for decades. Nine million Americans lost their jobs. Unemployment rose to 30%. The US lost 5 trillion dollars.

The lesson learned should have been obvious the entire time: don’t buy things you can’t afford. But no one was afraid of debt until it was too late. These two presented this convoluted history of events in a fun, comical way without cheapening the heaviness of the situation. It had a similar feel to Delaney’s “The TomKat Project,” which was also loaded with research, making for a very different, yet refreshing comedic experience. Grounded creativity, honest relationships and fundamental truths were all underlying currents throughout this show. “Moral Hazard” challenges you as an audience member. It makes you reflect back on the last few years and your own life experiences. Aside from a few stutters, which is to be expected on opening night, I could not have asked for more from Delaney and Goodman. I walked out of this show so fulfilled and with such a happy heart, I literally skipped down the sidewalk. Seriously – just for a minute though.

Thank you to Walt and Chandler for bringing such a bold, fresh idea to a comedy stage. If you’re looking for something new, go see “Moral Hazard” and learn a thing or two. This show is playing on Saturday nights at 8pm at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy until March 1st. You can buy tickets here.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Reviews

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