Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Clever Title First Ever Sketchfest Guide (Featuring Shameless Plugs)

January in the Chicago comedy community means Chicago Sketchfest, which is a sketch comedy festival that draws “100 sketch comedy troupes” from all across the country and brings them here for everyone to enjoy. It’s a good time for the regular sketch comedy going audience, but it’s a particularly good deal for the performers. We get festival passes that allow us free admission to any of the shows (provided they’re not sold out with actual paying humans), plus we get coupons for free Chipotle chips and guacamole (we used to get full burritos back in the day) AND a free stick of Burt’s Bees chapstick.

You’re jealous now about the chapstick. I can tell. It’s okay; I never use mine so if you really want one I’ll give you mine.

Every year, I always tell myself that I’m going to see as many shows as possible, and every year I disappoint myself. There’s just too many shows to see and a finite amount of time that I can reasonably devote to watching them. And, of course, when you have a hundred sketch comedy troupes, performing three shows at a time on three different stages, it’s kind of hard to narrow it down to the select groups that you’ll actually end up seeing. I mean, you can go look at the schedule and click on some of the group names for a synopsis, but they all ready pretty much the same way:

“PROPER NOUN is a NUMBER person group from CITY OR COLLEGE. They’ve performed here for NUMBER years and are glad to be bringing their "unique style" of sketch comedy to the stage, featuring FUNNY NOUNS THAT ARE REFERENCED SOMEWHERE IN THE SHOW UNLESS THEY CUT THAT SCENE AT THE LAST MINUTE BECAUSE OF TIME.


“Short, possibly witty statement that tells you nothing about the show.”

You may ask, "How is one ever to know which shows for to watch?"

Don’t worry, friends. Uncle Nat is here to the rescue.

And by rescue, I mean “let me plug the shows that I’m in and the shows of my friends. Also, here are some groups that I hear might be good.”

So, without further ado:

SHOWS THAT ARE GUARANTEED HILARIOUS (Meaning that I’m in them and I will tell you whatever I need to tell you to get people to come see the show):

365 Sketches, Thursday January 7th at 8:00 PM, North Theatre. Double billed with Happily Ever Laughter.
Robot vs Dinosaur, Saturday January 9th at 7:00 PM, North Theatre.

SHOWS FEATURING MY FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES (If I’m missing yours, friend or associate, leave a comment):

Cell Camp, Thursday January 7th at 9:30 PM, South Theatre. Double billed with Klepper & Grey.
Aemilia & Ed, Sunday January 10th at 2:30 PM, South Theatre. Double billed with Dominizuelan.
Jim vs Mike AND Creepy Hug, Sunday January 10th at 4:00 PM, North Theatre. I know both groups.
Fool For Thought, Sunday January 10th at 5:30 PM, North Theatre. Double billed with Puterbaugh Sisters.
Teenager of the Year, Thursday January 14th at 8:00 PM, South Theatre. Double billed with Other Other Guys.
The Best Church of God, Sunday January 17th at 1:00 PM, North Theatre.
Shark City, Sunday January 17th at 2:30 PM, North Theatre.


Pangea 3000, Friday January 8th and Saturday January 9th at 10:00 PM, West Theatre for both shows.
Bri-Ko, Friday January 8th at 11:00 PM and Saturday January 9th at 2:00 PM, South Theatre for both shows.
Kerpatty, Saturday January 8th at 8:00 (South Theatre) and Saturday January 16th at 2:00 PM (North Theatre)
Rue Brutalia, Friday January 15th and Saturday January 16th at 9:00 PM, West Theatre for both shows.

And of course many many more groups that are probably amazing but that I know nothing about.

As a general rule, if the group you are interested in performs more than once then they are most likely a well known funny commodity. There are very few shows that are complete wastes of your time, though, so no matter what you see there should be something of value there.

If you have the chance, I would highly recommend getting out there, even if it’s just for one show. It’s just kind of a cool experience, and the kind of thing that as a sketch comedian you look forward to all year.

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