Culture & Conversation

Class Acts, Enraptured Audience

My face hurts.  My face freekin’ hurts.  I laughed so hard and so long at tonight’s show that my face actually hurts.  And the closing show of the Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival at Théâtre Ste-Catherine has been over for 2 hours.

Saturday night’s show started with Saskatoon’s Skit Skit rapping about doing each other’s moms, and the audience quickly realized what the rest of the night had in store. I’m not typically a fan of white people rapping (sorry, Eminem) but these guys were actually pretty funny.  Skit Skit’s set had solid, funny material, though it could have used some editing, as many sketches ran too long.

Next up was City Hall from NYC.  They started the show off with a musical number, which charmed me right away.  I thoroughly enjoyed their roommates with Satan sketch; where Satan accuses his roomie of being racist for suspecting him of stealing his soul.  They also had an illustrated skit on the building of the Washington monument, which came with an abundance of phallic humour.

Then there was Jape.  These guys cracked me up.  They had a hilarious reoccurring bit about all the Sherlock Holmes books containing references to Watson creaming himself every time Mr. Holmes solved a crime.  They ended their set with an all too familiar story about a guy who works at a desk job and has people say the same crap to him every day, as he slowly begins to lose his mind.

I’d been looking forward to seeing Toronto’s Ladystache and they did not disappoint.  I saw them last year and let me tell ya, these two girls are fantastic together.  They began their set with a film in which one of them wakes up to find that all of her clothes and all of her food have swtiched places in her apt.  While they were performing their bad voice teacher sketch, where the teacher violently taps on the student’s crotch while she sings, I was falling out of my chair, laughing.

As tonight was the last night of sketch fest there were a couple of awards given out.  Elephant Empire won the best troupe of the festival, receiving a giant piece of bark as their award. I’m not kidding; this bark was the size of a person.  They ended the sketch fest with a scene that greatly contributed to the pain in my face.  There was a man filming a commercial in which he had to drink an entire glass of milk.  Except, they had to film take after take after take.  Of course it was obvious where they were going with it early on, but it didn’t matter.  People were crying, they were laughing so hard.

And last but definitely not least were newcomers Chris & Paul from New York City.  They blew me away.  They opened their set with 5 minutes of silently setting up the stage and trying in vain to introduce themselves, despite an obvious crippling shyness.  It was nothing short of brilliant.  The entire room was guffawing and they hadn’t even said a word. They also had tons of hilarious one line sketches as well as forced (but fantastic) audience participation.  These guys won the Best International Newcomers award, also known as the giant bag of beer award.  Watching them, Ladystache, and the hosts of the festival try to drink it was pretty hilarious in itself.

So another sketch fest is over.  Hopefully you caught some of it.  If you didn’t I hope this review helped you realize the high level of sophistication that you missed (where else can you see beer drunk out of a bag?)  And hey, there’s always next year.

For those looking for a Sketch Comedy fix, Sunday Night Improv continues at the Théâtre Ste-Catherine all summer long. Visit:

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