Comedic duo The Passing Zone keeps humor in the air with juggling act


THE PASSING ZONE

Jon Wee and Owen Morse have been looking for “real” jobs for 26 years. In the meantime, they’ve traveled around the world as The Passing Zone, a comedy and juggling act. They’ll put on their new show, “Gravity Attacks,” at 7:30 p.m. this evening in the Amphitheater as part of the Institution’s Family Entertainment Series.

“As the years go by, the show has always evolved and changed, and we added various new things onstage, so this is our latest incarnation of all of our best stuff,” Wee said.

The duo first met at a juggling convention in college. After finishing their degrees, they ditched any plans for traditional careers and joined together to create an act. Both Wee and Morse had performed as jugglers in the past, but when they united as partners, previous contacts brought them five months of bookings solely based on trust of their skills.

Since then, the pair has broken four Guinness World Records, performed on “The Tonight Show” and “The Today Show” and taken their act to the White House.

“The record that we’re most proud of … We were the first ever to pass 11 clubs between the two of us. That’s something that we specialize in,” Morse said.

That first record has since been surpassed, but Morse and Wee have moved on — to juggling chainsaws and stun guns in their latest show.

“The stun gun, that’s a new one that’s just made it into the show recently. The stun gun is exciting to juggle but it’s also good if the crowd gets unruly,” Wee said.

“Exactly — a little crowd control might be necessary,” Morse said.

“In case they all try to mob the stage at once,” Wee said.

“Which has never happened in the history of a juggling show, but in theory we’ll be ready,” Morse said.

Audiences should be ready for this kind of banter onstage, as the Passing Zone brands themselves a comedy show.

“To be entertained by juggling, we realized, it was very important to get people laughing and make sure what we’re doing isn’t just showing off skills,” Wee said. “Really, what you’re doing is watching two comedians put on a comedy show that is structured around juggling.”

The two agreed some of their most thrilling moments as performers have been when audiences have complimented them on their comedic skills, timing and ability to keep the crowd laughing.

In their latest installment of shows, gravity will be the butt of the duo’s jokes. The theme of the family-friendly performance revolves around gravity as the enemy — over centuries it has caused accidents and been the bane of many jugglers’ existences.

“We’re going to beat this thing eventually if we all [join] together. We’re going with a grassroots effort, we go from city to city to try to get people onboard to join our crusade,” Morse said. “We think of ourselves as the ultimate gravity fighters.”