Attention Whoring

Self Obsession (pt. 1)

In an attempt to prove even more self-obsessed than I have proven before I will be reviewing myself. That is to say: I will be spending the next bunch of entries reviewing sketches that I have recently uploaded onto youtube from my old college sketch comedy troupe. In an attempt to appear less self-obsessed than I have proven to be, I will be joined in this effort by Rhett and Lara (and possibly Ben via comments). Jesus, this is gonna be fun.

Today’s sketch: Castrato in the City

Grade: B

Ok, so I love any sketch that comments on sitcom-style and I think this sketch does this wonderfully. It illustrates beautifully that sitcoms are, in essence, just an excuse to make one weird quirk into the premise of a life. The puns are just clever enough to be funny, but not too clever so that it still fits the sitcom aesthetic correctly. The characters are all perfect archetypes from the mean old authority figure to the sexual platonic roomie to the mean side character that won’t be another episode. Where this sketch falls flat is in structure. Because it is attempting to be a parody of something that is typically filmed, the stage production of it proves difficult. The scene changes take too long, the character introduction montage seems awkward, and the characters (aside from Billy and Tina) aren’t truly introduced.

That being said, the characters are all really interesting, which is important. Cardinal Marcioni is the only character that didn’t have some weird quirk, which I think would have really helped (Possibly the puns made him laugh or he was really buddy-buddy with Billy). Glickstein’s depiction of the creepy bar man was a hysterical absurd take on the typical creepo in sitcoms, and was perfectly placed since the audience had already gotten comfortable with conceit that this was a sitcom. Once okay with that conceit we are given these two bizarre over-interpretations of the creepster and the over-protective boyfriend. Though the physical fight between Paul and Ben was awkward and obviously under-rehearsed, the arguing between them was hilarious in its nonsensicality. Though the words themselves didn’t really make sense, the tone and placement of the fight meant the audience knew exactly what exchange was going on, which gets to the heart of the issue of the sketch – sitcoms are formulaic.

Overall, I love the idea but there were huge holes in the delivery because of a lack of attention to detail. Probably would have been better as a filmed endeavour.

Best Actor: My voice (especially during the ticker tape trash line). Best Line: “C’mon… Candy. Pie. … You know you wanna take a ride on the wild side.”

Next Entry: Consent Doesn’t Come in the Form of Silence

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