Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Carl is co owner of a nightclub California Institute of Abnormalarts.
He has been in several independent movies. He is also the great nephew of Jerry Crew. Carl is an actor and screenwriter, as well as the owner of the California Institute of Abnormalarts. The CIA, as it is also known, is a Freak Show and entertainment venue in North Hollywood, California. Carl is also a Christian.
The California.Institute Of The Abnormal Arts
is the best place in town to get your FREAK ON! This KOOKY & CREATIVE Fortress is an L.A. Institution Attraction for decades. For Party & Performance. Owners Carl Crew and Robert Ferguson befriended each other while they were both working as apprentice embalmersin a Los Angeles mortuary in the 1980s. In 1994, the two opened the CIA as a clandestine location for underground bands and performance art, obtaining a dilapidated building in the North Hollywood district which once served as a recording studio during the 1970s. In the late 1990s, the CIA was raided by police and ultimately shut down for serving liquor without a license; the venue remained out of operation for three years until Crew and Ferguson re-opened it in 2001 with its current sideshow-themed aesthetic.
The CIA features an extensive collection of sideshow memorabilia that Crew and Ferguson, both avid fans and historians of the American sideshow, had collected over the years. The venue, painted with bright, garish circus colors, displays cryptotaxidermy, pickled punks and vintage banners for sideshow attractions and over the years has featured such oddities and hoaxes as a Fiji mermaid, the skull of "the world's smallest Freemason", the severed head of Sasquatch, the severed arm of Claude de Lorraine and a fairy skeleton. The CIA's most notable attraction, however, may be the preserved corpse of Achile Chatouilleu, an American circus performer who died in 1912 and requested his body be put on display in the clown makeup and attire he had worn throughout his life. Although Crew leased the body for six months in 2002, he claims that the owners "forgot" to retrieve it and the corpse remains at the CIA to present day in a hermetically sealed glass coffin, the body itself embalmed with arsenic. Chatouilleu's corpse is such a prominent fixture of the CIA that the LA Weekly newspaper ranked the venue in its "Best of LA 2006" list as "Best Place to Find a Dead Clown".
As a music and performance venue, the CIA showcases intentionally offbeat and bizarre musical groups, as well as freak shows, performance art, puppet shows, burlesque acts, stand-up comedy, movie screenings and other sorts of unusual performances. Every month, the CIA hosts Club Microwave, which showcases chiptune and electronic music and DJs and has featured such artists as 8 Bit Weapon, ComputeHer and Trash80, among others. The CIA also regularly hosts an event called Shades and Shadows, a live reading series focusing exclusively on dark fantasy, horror and science fiction literature. Among the authors who have appeared with Shades and Shadows include Martin Pousson, Ben Loory, Lisa Morton and Steven-Elliot Altman.
The CIA has been featured on the dating shows Blind Date and EX-treme Dating, and in 2013, Crew and regular CIA performer Count Smokula showcased the venue on an episode of the Discovery Channel series Oddities. In 2014 and 2015, the CIA appeared on Halloween-themed episodes of the local interest shows 1st Look (KNBC) and Eye on LA (KABC-TV), respectively, both of which featured interviews with Crew and footage of the comedy punk band The Radioactive Chicken Heads performing on the venue's stage.
Actor and director Carl Crew (the creator of The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer) gets confronted with a hostile audience and family members of Dahmer's victim's.
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