Attention Whoring

Self Obsession (Pt. 11)

Life is a Cabaret

Grade: D+

This sketch starts out with the set up of what could be an interesting commentary on ageism in the US and how we stop paying attention to you once you stop contributing back to society, but then it devolves quickly. Once the writers realized that the jokes they were making about apathy toward the feelings of the elderly were somewhat commonplace and had run out, they decided to rely on a rhyming, singing, and tried and true (aka overplayed) jokes at the expense of old people. Lines like: “Quit shaking your damn ta-tas, you’re gonna bruise your damn knees” and “you ain’t had a boner in 25, 25, 25 years” are in no way original or funny, but receive raucous applause and laughter because the actors are using funny voices and sing half heartedly. From then on the sketch relies on the audience assuming that it is hard to rhyme words. It is not. When you are writing things down, it is not difficult to come up with a word that rhymes with “hair.” Luckily the audience is stupid and is distracted by people shaking and jokes about how old people are prejudiced.

That being said, the sketch takes an absurd turn after the line: “Where are we? Hooverville?!”  If the sketch started at 3:50, then this sketch would get a B+ at least for having a very funny train of words that are all associated with people of that generation that don’t make sense together. That and the fact that Hannah and Lara have good on stage chemistry makes this sketch bearable, though only barely.

This problems with this sketch are summed up nicely with the audience’s reaction to the dancing grannies during the slam poetry of depression era words. At one point, Hannah and Lara turn around and the audience hoots and hollers to support their attractiveness even though the point of that is illustrate that even though they were once “valuable” members of society, they’ve lost what made them “valuable”: Their looks. And because they’ve lost their looks, they’ve lost their worth. But the sketch fails to explain that because its message changes as if it were a rant from a Philosophy major at a community college who was high, and therefore the audience still interprets their shimmying as attempts to be attractive. The audience has not gotten invested at all into the story, instead opting to invest themselves in wiggling bodies and shaky voices.

Best Actor: The costumes were sort of funny. Best Line: “Where are we Hoover-ville?”


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