Friday, August 12

But Did You Like It?

Sketch-22 pushes show to the raunchy limit

by Charles Mandel

    Judging from the full house Friday night at The Guild, the word is out about Sketch-22.

    The suspicion, however, is people are jamming the venue not because the comedy quintet is especially funny, but because they've heard the show is especially raunchy.
    Make no mistake, Sketch-22's second season is about as raw as it gets.  Much of the show can't even be discussed in a family newspaper such as this one.
    But if foul-mouthed stand-up comedians strike you as funny, you'll love this show.
    It's not as if profanity is something new in humour.  Comedians like Lenny Bruce have relied on the shock of the outrageous to pull laughs from their audiences.
    It's a little different, though, when the outrage overtakes the humour.  People forget to laugh.
    That's exactly what happened at times at the Guild. The troupe pushed the performance so far that they lost their audience.
    During at least one skit in which Rob MacDonald played a lesbian stand-up comic, nervous titters adn giggles came from a number of people along with outright expressions of dismay, but the majority of the crowd remained silent.
    It's not pleasant watching a comedian bomb.
    Josh Weale's appearance as Jesus offering to take questions from the crowd also got off to an awkward start.  Finally, though, a couple of the questions loosened up the crowd.
    Elsewhere, at the end of the night, when MacDonald was threatening to give another cast member a full tongue "man-to-man" kiss, but backed off, someone from the audience heckled, "Thank you!"  That prompted one of the first full laughs from the audience in several minutes.
    It's bad when the funniest lines come from the crowd.
    A segment featuring Andrew Sprague as a doctor visiting a nudist colony drew waves of helpless laughter from the audience - even if much of it was in disbelief.  Although the language of the skit was fairly juvenile, composed of obvious double entendres, people cracked up as members of Sketch-22 appeared nude but for strategically placed items.
    The Full Monty had nothing on this.
    Another piece that kept the audience in stitches featured MacDonald as a man who arranged swaps for unwanted babies.
    And why would they be unwanted?  Because, they were "from away".
    Advised MacDonald: If you want that boy to be an Islander, "make sure his first word is pogey."
    But the laugh-out-loud skits were few and far between this year.  The problem isn't with the comedians.  MacDonald, along with fellow satirists Josh Weale, Andrew Sprague, Graham Putnam and  - new to the troupe this year - Dennis Trainor are reasonably funny guys.
    However, if their material is anything to go by, they have the minds of 13-year-olds.  The majority of their skits seemed designed to be as offensive as possible.  If that was the goal, they succeeded.  But bludgeoning their audience with scandalous language isn't particularly clever.
    Occasionally, snippets of local or political humour made their way into the act, but for the most part it was just one vulgarity heaped upon another.
    Perhaps Sketch-22 believes this is what an audience raised on Trailer Park Boys, rap music adn MTV's Jackass deserves.
    To be sure, one skit explicitly made reference to that whole culture when MacDonald introduced himself as "Teddy Goldman, producer of the Low Income Boys."
    The problem, though, with trying to make fun of something that's already a not-so-intelligent satire is it becomes a question of how low can you go, and as Sketch-22 proves, they can go very low indeed.
    Given that Sketch-22 wrote their humour to be as outrageous as possible, what more can be said: they succeeded.  The show is appalling.

Here's the review of our show by The Guardian's Charles Mandel.  I'll comment more when I get a chance.  Thought you might like to read it, though.  I think he liked it!


Guardian Sucks said...

You guys might have the minds of 13 yr olds but I'm surprised he didn't mention that your hung like 11 yr olds.

Rob said...

No, no.
It's "hanged".
We're "hanged" like 11 year olds.

Rob said...

I think I love you, Laura.

Jason White said...

I really like Sketch, and I did like this seasons show, but I do have some feelings on it. I was expecting to see whitty humor like last year, and while there was some whit, I don't feel that it was nearly as strong as what was presented last year. I somewhat feel the same way I do about Sketch now as I do about the Trailer Park Boys this year. Last year the TPB left me in a feel good fuzzy warm place, I was drooling all winter for new episodes. Then april arrives and it was like last year never happened, characters that showed up were forgotten, stoylines lost and never to be brought back. I guess why anyone watches a sequel is to get more of the same, but with a few changes to keep it fresh. Sketch for me this year was not a sequel, it was like watching a Jet Li movie, they all have Jet in them, and a general formula feel, but every once and a while DMX happens to come into a flick and bugger it up. DMX doesn't mean to bugger it up, all i'm saying is less of DMX is more, and I guess that is how I feel about Sketch this year. I am a big mark for comedy, I did like it, but just too much MSG for me.

Graham said...

The thing that gets me about his review (not that I give a fuck) is that he ignored 80% of the show, and focused solely on the 2-3 sketches ( out of 22 ) that bugged him.
Our entire first act is PG/non-offensive. And most of the second act is "decent" by this pricks standards. The fact that this hack chose to comment and review the few sketches that pushed his pussy-button, says alot about his jounalistic ability/integrity.
I don't even care if I look petty for making these comments.

dylan said...

Don't worry Graham I thought you looked pretty before those comments.

dylan said... said "petty". let's ignore my previous post then.

Poppycock said...

Graham, if you don't give a fuck about the review then why are you so worked up over it? He gave his opinion on shit that he saw and didn't like. You can't be funny all the time. He was wrong about thew 13 yr olds thing though. With comments like yours you have just proven your a lot less mature then he gives you credit for. He states his opinion on a performance and you say things like prick, hack, pussy and start questioning his ability and integrity as a journalist. Man get off the crank and loosen up a bit. You and the boys can pat yourselves on the back about your funniness and stroke egos to help you get over this. It's only one bad review. There will be more.

graham said...

Those were my opinions on his comments or "review". Do I not have the right to call him what I want, as he calls me whatever he wants?
I have never argued that I don't have an immature personality or sense of humour. I'm mentally a child. I also have a habit of saying/writing what I feel and think. For this I will not apologise.
And I don't give a fuck about the review in the sense that it will effect my performance. But if Charles claims to be objective as a journalist, then I wanted to point out that he may have let his personal view on things skew his writing in this particular case.
I still think you are right, too.
I just don't think that I'm wrong.

Poppycock said...

You see Graham, That is why people love you. Because you can take what I said make your points and still be open minded about someone elses opinions and to what they have to say. Your a good guy Graham. Don't let your top-heavyness as well as the other boys get in the way of what you do best. Be funny!

graham said...

Did you call me fat?

Poppycock said...

Yeah something like that! FAT HEAD!

David Nicholson. said...

"Those who can't do; teach.
Those who can't teach; review / critique
Those who can't do fuck all; review for The Guardian"

graham said...

Thanks, Dave.
I hope you can make it to the show sometime.
You'd like it, I'm pretty sure.

David Nicholson said...

Graham - it's unlikely that I will be able to see Sketch this year...perhaps you can give me a....erm.....private version....y'know, in a quiet room somewhere.....preferably late won't make you any less of a man.
At least that's what I tell myself.
Totally up to you, though.

Graham said...

Dave, perhaps you can attend a Charity show that we're doing most likely on the 11th of sept.
The show will be the same, it's just that all the proceeds go to some Charity.
Talk to the hand if you can go to it.