The Sketchersons play denial

Fringe Festival Review: Sunday Night with The Sketchersons

A day full of activities and fun should always end with a laugh.

Toronto Fringe Festival went into its 4th day with many shows going on through out the city. However, The Brunswick House had a line-up going from the backroom, through the bar, and out the front door onto the street for Sunday Night Live with The Sketchersons. The skit-comedy troupe usually hosts their show at The Brunswick House Sunday nights at 8.30pm along with special guests to help them out. The show follows along the same lines at TV's infamous Saturday Night Live....only here, you can throw things at the actors.

Sunday night's show was the first of two Fringe shows that the troupe will be doing. Also, the special guests will be ones with fairly big names. Last night involved the Royal Canadian Air Farce's Don Ferguson and the Barenaked Ladies' Kevin Hearn. Not knowing what Kevin Hearn was capable of doing, I accepted his attempts to act with open arms. Simply-put, he was simple. His comedy is just him being him, and I'll be damned if it wasn't enjoyable.

Well-over a handful of the skits were literally worthy of laugh-out-loud approval. 'Angel Poker' was a skit about three friends playing a game of poker until they invite a fourth friend (played by Bob Kerr) who wife recently died. Every time something that would happen with him (ie. enter the room, have a question asked, ante up), he'd begin to sob and the song 'Angel' by Sarah McLachlan would begin to play.

'The Weed Problem' was a skit which featured one guy (played by Dan Galea) who wanted to purchase weed immediately. He's given a number via a friend to a Narcotics Officer at a local police station (played by Don Ferguson). Everyone thinks that the cop is playing a trick on them, but in fact, he really is trying to make a deal with the guy. Unfortunately, the officer's in-command finds him dealing and he has to turn around the situation so it looks like he's arresting the guy.

'The Observatory' also featured Don Ferguson as an astronomy researcher. His love-interest (played by Inessa Frantowski...yes, THE Inessa Frantowski) is also a researcher in the field of attaining animal ejaculate and finding what good it can be used for. As graphic as the content for this skit might have been, you had to love Ferguson's slow-witted assistant, Yuri (played by Gary Rideout Jr.).

One of the better skits of the night featured Kevin Hearn doing a TV show called 'Awesome Radical.' The show featured Hearn acting like a 50-year old teenager and bringing on guests to discuss teenage or kid-based topics such as video games. Also, he'd use hilarious vocabulary like, "what's a crack-a-lackin'?" The show's producer would come on and off the stage telling Hearn how he should stop acting like a teenager, and that he's "not from the 'hood & he lives in a $500,000 house in Richmond Hill."

'Soccer Canada' involved two guys (once again, Bob Kerr and Gary Rideout Jr.) yelling about why Canada's national soccer team can't qualify for the World Cup. So, they ask for help from Footy McSoccerballs (played by Irish-accented Kevin Hearn) for guidance to help lead their team to victory. Footy, all dressed in green clothing including a Lucky Charms shirt that says "Lucky" across the chest, says that they should adapt the other soccer-popular countries' methods such as Argentina's celebrations, Italy's diving 'n faking & Columbia's threats ("if you miss this shot, I'm going to kill you.").

Finally, a dramatization was performed to show what happens 'When Tickling Gets Weird.' Two guys were sitting next to each other when one would tickle the other. It would continue until it both ended up making out. Another situation involved a couple ticking each other to find out one is pregnant. The other would continue to tickle until her pregnancy was aborted.

Overall, the show came off pretty well. Unfortunately, the troupe had to deal with last-minute problems which forced them to call Ferguson and Hearn to help guest-host the show. Yet, they all pulled off a great show and have made seeing the Sketchersons a lot less of a chore.

OK, OK. I kid, I kid! It's not a chore (but don't tell them that).

Photos: (by Garry Tsaconas)

(To send Fringe off packing, go to The Brunswick House next week for Sunday Night Live with The Sketchersons featuring WWE Wrestling Superstar Chris Jericho next Sunday at 8.30pm)

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