Sketch comedy groups stir up laughter
Students packed into the Shapiro Campus Center Theater on Friday for one of the most awaited events of the semester: the 17th Annual Sketch Comedy Festival.
The show was hosted by Boris’ Kitchen, Brandeis’ sketch comedy group, and featured comedy groups from other schools, as well. On Friday, the other groups that came included Emerson College’s Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars, Cornell University’s Humor Us! and Skidmore College’s Sketchies.
I found Humor Us! to be pretty underwhelming, with sketches that focused more on juvenile humor, which was not as appealing.
I also thought that both Humor Us! and Sketchies performed too many sketches. The Traveling All-Stars were the most memorable and performed two sketches that were particularly enjoyable. The first sketch involved two students playing a pair of twins who tried to prove how similar they were by finishing each other’s sentences in robotic voices and ending each sentence by both saying, “We’re twins!”
I, and presumably most of the audience, expected this to just be a joke that would end once the sketch was over. However, the last sketch that they performed portrayed a teacher instructing a theater class, trying to invoke creative movement by having everyone in the class do a unique pose on the count of three. All the students continue to do the same poses each time the teacher counts to three, with two of the students even performing the same pose as each other. The teacher gets frustrated and asks the students, specifically the two with the same pose, why they are not varying their poses. Those two students — who happen to be the same actors who portrayed the twins in the first sketch — respond “because we’re twins!”
COMEDIANS IN CAHOOTS: Another university’s sketch comedy group performs in Boris’ Kitchen’s show.
After a short intermission, it was finally Boris’ Kitchen’s time to shine. There were a few sketches that stood out in particular.
One of the first sketches was titled “Samples” and was written by Yael Platt ’17, Mira Garin ’19 and Sarah Sharpe ’20 act as two customers in Costco, with many employees coming up to them and asking if they want to try samples of foods such as ice cream. Then, Platt comes up and asks if they would like to try a “stool” sample, handing them a cup of pudding. They look disgusted as they eat the pudding, which we assume is representing exactly what we think it is.
However, at the end of the sketch, Platt brings a literal stool onto the stage that the pudding had originally been resting on, revealing why it was called a “stool” sample.
Platt was the star writer of the show, writing four other sketches that were all very memorable. In one, titled “Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” Sarah Duffett ’17 and Andrew Agress ’17 portray a couple walking in the park. Duffett is obsessed with babies, and every time someone walks into the park carrying a baby in a baby carrier, Duffett freaks out, screams “Baby!” and runs over to the person holding the baby, with Agress trying to stop her.
Two other sketches that had me laughing were written by Agress and Perry Letourneau ’20. In Agress’ sketch, titled “Thanks, Dog,” Raphael Stigliano ’18 is sitting on a chair with a stuffed dog (portraying a real dog) next to him. Claudia Davis ’19 comes in and starts talking in a baby voice and giving compliments that we assume are directed at the dog. Instead, she walks straight up to Stigliano and starts fussing over him, treating him like a dog, while she talks to the dog as if it is a human being.
Letourneau’s sketch, “Go-Gurt,” was also particularly funny. Duffett and Alan Omari ’20 portray a couple on a date in a fancy restaurant. Agress, playing the waiter, recommends the restaurant’s latest specialty and describes the characteristics of a Go-Gurt, exaggerating the details to make it seem like a more extravagant dish. Duffett and Omari are suspicious of the fact that they are ordering Go-Gurt from a fancy restaurant, but Agress tells them that it is an aphrodisiac, and they agree to order it. When they are done, they are impressed and believe that they have more sexual desire than before. When they leave the restaurant, Agress exclaims to Jason Kwan ’20, playing the restaurant’s manager, that he was lying about the Go-Gurt, saying, “It works every time!”
Boris’ Kitchen succeeded in impressing the crowd with its humor. The show was a success and a perfect way to de-stress during the end of the semester. While the visiting schools were certainly entertaining, I wish that they had not performed as many sketches, for after a while they seemed to drag on. It was our own beloved Boris’ Kitchen that truly stole the show, providing a wonderful end to this sketch comedy group’s performances from this semester.