"Phew, you're breath stinks! Oh no, wait, that's me." Behold the line I delivered speed dating last week.
Not REAL speed dating though. Sketch dating. A speed dating sketch.
Last weekend the UCB Theater hosted the fourth edition of New York's Sketch Fest. Short pre-rehearsed scenes, sketch comedy groups from all over the country and Canada, joined forces for four days of jaw-dropping talent and non-stop laughter.
Yes, like your standard comedy shows, the fat-loser joke was not exempt from an occasional appearance. Yet, more often than not, these comedians proved to be poised and smart, presenting jokes that transcended the common tale of self-deprecation, premature ejaculation or other awesome bodily functions.
Simply put, the material was clever. SketchFest NYC was cerebral comedy at it's best. Breaking the 4th wall, performers played with their writing as much as they did with their own craft. While keeping the crowd engaged, groups scrutinized the very nature of sketch comedy. They simulated a "behind the art" performance, where sketches were based on the group's inability to start the show. Members argued on the elements that make a good performance and what it takes to make people laugh. The answer lied somewhere between good writing and chemistry between performers.
Whitest Kids You Know putting post-modernism aside, stood up to the plate as one of the oldest shows in the festival. Having met at SVA almost 10 years ago, the chemistry between these guys was undeniable. Not only are they comfortable amongst themselves, but obviously at ease onstage. Known today from their TV show, Whitest Kids, on IFC, their seven years of live performances at Pianos in the Lower East Side proved ample practicing time to perfect the art. "We worked really hard and now we get paid to do stupid shit," said Timmy Williams, member of the WKUK. There "stupid shit" was quick, witty and smart. Hilarity at it's best, WKUK know how to put up a show.
Having said this, these were only a couple of the groups in the festival. Honorable mention to absolutely every other group in SketchFest! New York City, you got some good comedic talent.