For 92% of Canadian children, the entire year revolves around Christmas. For TV execs, the entire year revolves around the Fall lineup. For really boring people, the entire year revolves around taxes. And for schlubs you see in Tim Hortons commercials, the entire year revolves around the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.
Two Weird Ladies have never tried to sell you a Tim’s Peach Mango Smoothie (Laura totally blew that audition), but we have been counting down the days to Sketchfest since last year’s Sketchfest ended. So far we have counted 342 days.
In celebration of this celebration of comedy, and in an effort to convince you to see our shows, Two Weird Ladies have compiled a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Check Out Sketchfest. It’s what you’re reading now! Magic!
Reason 1: See Two Weird Ladies. We pay $9.99 a year for this website so we’re allowed to use it to be biased. This year, there are tons of chances to see us perform. We’re doing two completely different sets so you can see both our official Sketchfest shows and not get bored. Our first show is Thursday March 6th at 8pm at Lower Ossington Theatre with troupes LadyBusiness and Cupid Players. Our second show is Thursday March 13th at 8pm at Comedy Bar with troupes Rulers of the Universe and Kaboom Hooray. We’ll be doing a collection of singing and flailing, with some sketches you’ve never seen and some classics. If it’s a selling point, Mandy might take her shirt off. If it’s a further selling point, Laura definitely won’t.
On top of our regular shows, we’re also part of the Cabaret Series, playing the “Best Crime Sketch” show on Friday, March 7th and the “Best Closer” show on Sunday, March 16th. Both shows are 8pm at Comedy Bar. We’ll ALSO be part of Teh Internets Quiz Show on Friday, March 14th, 10pm at Comedy Bar and will likely be part of an improv set following a Second City Mainstage show (TBC). YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT ESCAPE US.
Reason 2: The Kids in the Hall are part of this thing. Canada’s most beloved sketch troupe will be doing a live reading of Brain Candy on Tuesday night (you have to buy tickets, obviously). As if this in itself doesn’t up Sketchfest’s coolness to Zack Morris levels, Kevin McDonald is teaching a sketch writing workshop and Mark McKinney is part of a Slings and Arrows Q&A panel. Register here!
Reason 3: Your life is probably terrible. Let’s be honest – your only plans for March 6th-16th currently involve refreshing the @TOMayorFrod Twitter feed while waiting for the guy in your building to take his laundry out of the dryer. The highlight of your workweek will be writing a passive aggressive note telling people to stop using your salad dressing from the fridge. The last time you laughed was when you saw a lady fall on the ice, but then she was actually really badly hurt and another bystander glared at you as he rushed to help put the woman’s clearly fractured arm in a splint. Don’t pass up on this opportunity to laugh without any guilt and escape your mundane, if not completely meaningless existence on this planet.
Reason 4: It’s a good way to trick someone into going on a date with you. Buy two tickets to the show of your choice. Then tell the girl of your dreams that your friend had to cancel due to a family drama you really don’t want to get into right now. Even if the girl is not interested in you, she will be so desperate to hear the gossip on your friend’s shambolic life that she will agree to take his ticket in hopes to find out more. Once the show date is locked down, you will be able to further trick her into dinner beforehand or a drink afterwards. If you can manage to fake a few shocking text messages from your friend that you’d “feel uncomfortable sharing yet” you may be able to trick her into marrying you.
Reason 5: If no one will go on a date with you, you can drink a lot. Sketchfest is sponsored by Steam Whistle. Beer will be everywhere. And no comedian will ever judge you for drinking alone.
Reason 6: Make friends with out-of-town acts so you can save money on hotels later. To do this wisely, research where all the Sketchfest acts hail from in advance, and buy tickets to see the troupe whose hometown you’d most like to visit. With the small investment of a you-guys-were-great-let-me-buy-you-a beer, you’ll gain a new Facebook friend from the holiday destination of your choice. All it will take is a passive aggressive post stating “I am so broke – does anyone know a cheap place to stay in Calgary?” and you should have a couch offered up by a friendly comedian in no time.
Reason 7: You’re volunteering for the Festival. This reason makes us love you.
Reason 8: You could be discovered. Writers, critics, agents and millionaires will be lurking in the audience, at the bars and even covertly appearing on stage. If your jib is cut in a likeable fashion, someone may notice you. Extensive research shows that a throw-away remark at a bar, such as a comment on the thirst-inducing nature of a pretzel, could land you a role in a Hollywood movie. Or a Tim Hortons commercial.
Reason 9: If you don’t go and something terrible happens at any point in your life it will probably be a result of your having not gone to Sketchfest. Six years from now, as you stand in front of the lot of ashes that was once your family home, don’t let your only thought be, “If only I had gone to Sketchfest in 2014, the course of my entire life would have been altered in a way that meant I never would have left that candle unattended last night.” We have now warned you and you will only have yourself to blame.
Reason 10: You get to laugh and support local comedy. This is the best reason, really. Except for Reason 1.
Sketchfest runs March 6th – 16th 2014 at Comedy Bar and Lower Ossington Theatre. Visit www.torontosketchfest.com for the full lineup, information on workshops and panels and to buy tickets.