Piercing Comedy

For some, having a staple gun repeatedly pierce your body sounds like a form of torture. But for members of The Squidling Bros. Circus Sideshow, it’s two thumbs up for sickos who love to watch others suffer.

The five-member troupe from Philadelphia also gets pleasure from sword swallowing, laying on nail beds, lifting bowling balls with their ears, and breaking out of straightjackets. They learned their crafts from veteran sideshow performers before teaching themselves, all for the satisfaction of tripping-out audiences.

"It's very interesting psychologically to push the buttons of all these emotions and physical sensations," says emcee and performer Jelly Boy the Clown. "Some people hide their eyes, some scream, and some people have had seizures and fainted. We do it for the thrill of thrilling people."

Don't be too nervous about watching. The performance has a humorous tone, and since the troupe has performed all over the U.S. and Europe, they're bonafide pros at their carnival craft.

Sat., Nov. 6, 8 p.m., 2010