Fun Two Weird Ladies Sketchfest Facts!

The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival starts this Thursday, with Two Weird Ladies billed as one of the first acts to perform. In honour of this momentous occasion, we’re bringing you some fun facts about Two Weird Ladies and Sketchfest! Okay, the facts aren’t actually that fun, but we’re desperate for web content.

• Two Weird Ladies formed AT Sketchfest! Mandy and Laura were both volunteering with the festival in 2010 (Laura was also performing as part of her former troupe, Warm Summer Hotness). One minute they were wearing matching Steam Whistle shirts at the back of the Comedy Bar main space, the next minute (well, reasonably, probably more like 28 minutes later) they had formed a duo that would change the face of sketch comedy and the faces of the sketch comedians (they slap each other a lot).

Sketchy, Laura's Sketchfest kitten. If you love kittens, you'll love Sketchfest.

If you love kittens, you’ll love Sketchfest.

• Laura’s cat, Sketchy, is named after Sketchfest. Laura chose her kitten from a Kijiji ad and picked him up on the last day of Sketchfest in 2010. Laura was so excited to have finished her first run at Sketchfest, she immortalized the event in her cat. Also, he was born to some homeless whore cat under a priest’s back deck in Parkdale, which was all a bit sketchy.

• Meg Maguire, official Sketchfest stage manager at Lower Ossington Theatre, also teched Two Weird Ladies’ Fringe show Two Weird Ladies Bomb the Fringe in 2012. She is the official understudy for both Laura and Mandy, and has given them valuable direction in the past, such as “slap each other harder!”

• At the end of their first Sketchfest show last year, Laura and Mandy lay dead* on stage until the entire audience left. (*Don’t worry. They weren’t really dead.)

• The first year Two Weird Ladies applied to Sketchfest they did not get in. After receiving hundreds of letters from outraged citizens, the Sketchfest team did the right thing and accepted Mandy and Laura into the festival in 2013. Also, Mandy and Laura had a significantly better submission tape in 2013. Also, all the letters of outrage were from Mandy and Laura.

If you love beer, you'll love Sketchfest.

If you love beer, you’ll love Sketchfest.

• Laura’s sister is getting married at Steam Whistle, and Steam Whistle is a sponsor of Sketchfest, so Laura and Sketchfest are basically sisters in law. Assuming Sketchfest is female. And assuming any form of reasonable logic does not apply to this scenario.

• Two Weird Ladies attended the Sketchfest fundraiser for the first time this year because they realized they both have jobs and could afford to spend $30.

• At said fundraiser, Laura ate more free meat than Mandy and Mandy drank more $5 beers than Laura.

• Two Weird Ladies’ props at last year’s Sketchfest included a ukulele, a Winnie the Pooh bed sheet, a Chevy Chase face taped to a paper towel roll and a Blue Jays Home Opener rally towel safety pinned to a metal hanger. Their budget was $2.

If you love paper towel rolls, you'll love Sketchfest.

If you love paper towel rolls, you’ll love Sketchfest.

• This year, Two Weird Ladies play Thursday March 6th at 8pm at Lower OssingtonTheatre with troupes LadyBusiness and Cupid Players, then on Thursday March 13th at 8pm at Comedy Bar with troupes Rulers of the Universe and Kaboom Hooray. They are 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 8:30pm at Comedy Bar. They’re also part of Teh Internets Quiz Show (sic) on Friday, March 14th, 10pm at Comedy Bar and will be part of the improv set following the Second City main stage show on Saturday, March 15th.

That last fact was boring, but this post was mostly a trick to get you to come see these shows, so we hope you understand.

Sketchfest runs March 6th – 16th 2014 at Comedy Bar and Lower Ossington Theatre. Visit for the full lineup, information on workshops and panels and to buy tickets.

Top 10 Reasons to Check Out Sketchfest

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 for the full lineup, information on workshops and panels and to buy tickets.


The Power of the Friendship (And A Shameless Plug For Our Upcoming Show)

It is the Saturday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I am currently in a car en route to see my parents.  My sister is driving — good thing, or what I would be doing would be considered not only dangerous but highly illegal — and I have my laptop tethered to my phone in order to accomplish a few to dos before I fall into a food and beer coma for the rest of the weekend.

This has been my MO lately.  When Laura and I conceived of doing a new variety-style show (The Everything Show with Two Weird Ladies, debuting Tuesday, October 15 at Measure, 296 Brunswick Ave), I was unaware of how much traveling I would be doing for work over the past six weeks.  (Yes, I am a busy business woman who does many business things when I am not writing sketches about said business things and performing them on stage).  Since Labour Day weekend, I have been in New York, Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York (again), Montreal, Ottawa and Chicago.  And although some of these trips may be considered more personal travel than business travel, my ability to perform most of the tasks related to preparing for this show was greatly diminished.

Luckily, Laura is the most organized person I know, and without all of her work behind the scenes, this show would not be happening.  It is also a testament to how great a friend she is that she hasn’t severed all ties with me, threatening to kill me, or, at the very least, punch me in the face on a city bus.

So, this Tuesday (at 8:30 pm at Measure, 296 Brunswick Ave), why don’t you come and check out the fruits of her labour?  Not only will Two Weird Ladies be doing a short set, but we have insane variety of acts ready to blow you away, including spoken word, improv, sketch comedy, a play and some amazing musicians!  And you can watch me ply Laura with cider, because the way to a person’s heart is through alcohol.  Fact.  I heard it once in a training session.

Or, all else failing, I will play her this:

See you at the show!


Fringe-ness OR The Fringe Festival Guide for Busy Business Women

One year ago today, we opened our first full-length sketch revue, Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe, at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival.  Not only did we develop the skills required to put a full show together, but we also learned some real tricks for how to enjoy the Fringe Festival.  As busy business women who are also responsible for last year’s Fringe sleeper hit*, we wanted to share some tips on how a busy business woman (or, in some cases, business MAN) can Fringe to its full potential.

  1. Book a lot of “doctor” appointments | If you work downtown and have a sympathetic boss, this is the best option outside of using precious vacation days or quitting your job in order to see shows.  With most Fringe shows clocking in at a cool 50-55 minutes, it’s easy as pie to slip out for a “specialist” appointment and get back in time to send thirty acronym-filled emails before quitting time.  Your boss may think you have a fatal disease, but most HR policies preclude them from asking outright.
  2. Take conference calls while in line for a show | A lot of business these days is conducted via employees who telecommute (formal definition: commuting through your telephone), so you can conduct business and make bags of money for your organization from virtually anywhere!  Take advantage of the long and boring lines at the Fringe venues to broker that deal, launch that new product or have a one-on-one with your boss.  If they ask about the background noise, plead ignorance and say there must be an issue with the phone line.
  3. Wear a silky blouse and impressive slacks to every show | Banana Republic and Jacob exist for one reason, and that’s to get you noticed.  Whether it’s walking down Bay Street or into the Tarragon Main Space to see Radio :30 (it’s really good, read the review and get tickets here) a crisply ironed blouse says “I’m a business woman.  I am busy and important so get out of my way unless you are planning on buying me a drink.”  Take advantage of your hotness and sit in a reserved seat, or scream “I have business to attend to!” once the show has finished in order to exit the venue first and get back to what you do best, BUSINESS. Also do this on the weekends when you aren’t working (although let’s be honest, when AREN’T you working?).
  4. Schedule a team outing to catch a must-see play | Most of your co-workers are probably middle-aged divorcees who hang off your every word, given that you are likely the coolest person they know.  Use this to your advantage, and suggest a team event to that 5-star show.  They get to tell their square friends how hip they are, and you get to leave work early and put that round of drinks at the pub afterwards on your company credit card.
  5. When out and about, reply to emails using your trusty Blackberry | …JUST KIDDING!  Who has a Blackberry anymore?!?  Seriously, if people ask why it took you so long to reply tell them there was a network issue that seemed to affect only your computer.

Happy Fringing and see you at the Fringe Club!


* Only Mandy says this.

Breaking into the Music Business: How to succeed by failing

One of the major obstacles to starting a successful music career is having absolutely no musical talent. An inability to sing, play an instrument or wear ironic clothing sadly deters many people from breaking into the music business. Today I would like to share with you a loophole I have discovered that will allow many of you to make it in a world you have absolutely no right being a part of.

When I was seven years old I was convinced I would make a career of being a professional singer. Perhaps this was because in Grade One Ms. Chodos awarded me the yellow construction paper “Singer of the Day!” prize not only the obligatory once, but TWICE. Perhaps this was because my father insisted I sing “Up on the House Top” whenever we had Christmas guests. Perhaps this was because children are stupid. In any case, much like my later dreams to be the first woman in Major League Baseball or to be married by 30, I failed miserably. Yes, I did go on to star in a variety of high school musicals, but these mainly required me to sing songs about being overweight while using a crusty Winnie the Pooh voice.

In Grade 11, while lying on stage, stuck in the entrance to Rabbit’s house, I did my best Think-Think-Think-ing and realized that if I wanted to gain any musical respect I would have to be in a band. So that Christmas (after receiving an unprecedented number of Winnie the Pooh window decals and pens) I scraped together my Uncle-endorsed cheques, headed to Cash Converters and bought a used electric guitar that looked just like the one Gavin Rossdale played.

Somehow, however, I had been under the impression that if I committed a couple hours to placing band stickers neatly yet haphazardly over the surface of said guitar, I would instantly be able to play it. I tried strumming for a number of hours and realized my dainty hands were too feminine and delicate to maneuver the strings. My Fender amp became a display stand for my Spice Girls dolls and they have collectively been gathering dust ever since.

For the next couple of years my musical career was limited to singing along to my Dixie Chicks CD while in the lonesome comfort of my car. I knew Jewel was the only artist ever discovered while in her car, and that her album only had, like, three good songs on it, so my future was looking bleak.

But then something magical happened: I gave up completely.

Abandoning my desire to be a musician was the best career move I ever made. Instead of splurging for guitar lessons, I splurged for a lot of alcoholic beverages, which helped forge my friendship with Mandy Sellers, a woman whose musical dreams had also failed, despite her superior talent.

The two of us started a comedy duo and realized that, given the fact that comedy duos never get paid and can thus never be fired for being terrible, we could do whatever we wanted and force audiences to endure it. We wrote a comedy revue and penned a number of original songs, all of which were about death and failed dreams. With hits like “If You Die Before Your Time You Can’t Fuck Things Up” and “When You’re Dead, You’re Dead,” we could be described as “Steve Martin meets Dashboard Confessional” or “Thom Yorke after a couple of beers.”

After sending off a submission video that contained absolutely zero examples of our musical endeavors, Two Weird Ladies was accepted into NXNE, one of the hippest music festivals in North America. This has given us the future power to sell ourselves as a musical act, with potential taglines such as “Two Weird Ladies has played music festivals alongside acts such as Wintersleep, Millencolin and Ludacris.”

So there you have it, struggling bands. Give up on your dreams, try something completely different, and get into that awesome music festival you’ve always wanted to play by pretending you aren’t a musician. Then use your 15 minutes of stage time to debut your Emo version of “Rumbly in my Tumbly” and get booed off the stage and asked never to return.

Meantime, if anyone knows how being a sketch duo can get Two Weird Ladies onto the Toronto Blue Jays, please let us know. We feel this season being a huge joke so far is a promising start.

The Importance of Voting (For Us).

Whether we’re voting robots into parliament or onto Monopoly boards, whenever our most cherished democratic freedom is a position to be exercised there is always a GOTV diehard around to tell us that “it doesn’t matter who you vote for as long as you vote!” The truth is that who you vote for is by far the most important part of the equation and that if you’re not going to vote for the right mayor or Fido dog mascot you should really just pack your bags like the latest Big Brother evictee and move to North Korea.

Aside from having the ability to vote incorrectly, another inherent issue with democracy is that our votes are anonymous. While this may stop things like blackmail, intimidation and fascism, it doesn’t allow us to quietly judge people based on their values. Who or what a person votes for says a lot about that person and may be a valid reason for you to not get married or to turn down vague invites to concerts with him.

Likewise, sometimes who or what a person votes for can speak volumes about his or her intelligence, sense of humour, taste, and regard for mankind. Take, for example, the current NOW Magazine “Best Of” poll that is open to anyone capable of using a web browser. Let’s just say, for instance, someone were voting in the Best Sketch Troupe category, from which he or she has the ability to nominate any troupe in the entire city. Say, for instance, this person decided to nominate Two Weird Ladies. What would this say about the voter?


First off, this wonderful person is voting for two ladies. This voter seems to have a high regard for women, seeing them as valuable members of the comedy community. This kindly person is also very socially progressive, making the statement that, yes, two women can form a meaningful, long-lasting partnership and that that is something that deserves more recognition in our society. In this case, the voter has a high regard for others.

Secondly, this hypothetical voter is voting for a sketch duo who produced a critically acclaimed Fringe show that was mentioned as a “best of” production by a couple of the most respected comedy critics in the city. By voting for a duo respected by experts, this voter is showing off his or her great taste in comedy.

Thirdly, based on the fact that Two Weird Ladies tend to write sketches inspired by real life scenarios and don’t usually resort to x-rated shock humour, the voter is clearly empathetic, classy and (let’s assume) highly attractive.

From this example we can clearly see that the type of person who would nominate Two Weird Ladies for Best Sketch Troupe as part of NOW Magazine’s Best Of Toronto Reader’s Poll is basically a supreme being who is perfect in every way. If voting were not anonymous we could recognize such people on the street and throw rose petals at them and ask them to kiss our babies for luck. The way things are now, we can’t let anyone on the street kiss our babies as we have no way of knowing who voted for Pierre Trudeau or who voted for Ruben Studdard. Or who has Hepatitis B.

Every vote really does count, and this is the problem. If we only allowed people who were going to vote properly (i.e. the type who had it in their hearts to vote for Two Weird Ladies) to vote, perhaps kittens would be confined to the safety of our homes, and not in the place of an awesome robot on the Monopoly board or the arms of an awkward robot in parliament.

If you are a caring, intelligent, empathetic, classy, attractive web-browser-user with great comedic taste and regard for the human race, please click here and nominate Two Weird Ladies for Best Sketch Troupe. Thank you!

Toronto Sketchfest: The Unauthorized Audience Etiquette Guide

As we’re sure you’re aware from all the breaking news stories on CBC, in approximately 24 hours Two Weird Ladies will be making their first appearance at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.

Now, attending a comedy festival may seem like a simple task that any fool with money for a ticket can accomplish. While this is true, you may be surprised to learn that there is a particular etiquette that should be adhered to when attending Toronto Sketchfest. While failure to follow these polite civilities will not get you ejected from the theatre by a handsy Associate Producer, it will cause you to be the ridicule of anyone who notices. Which will probably be no one. People are there to watch the troupes – not to pay attention to what you’re up to six seats away. God, you’re self-centred.

Anyway, just do this stuff.

Etiquette Rule No. 1
Laugh really loudly at everything Two Weird Ladies do or say
Whether we are on stage or at the bar, we need everyone around us to think we’re funny. That’s why we do this shit. So after every line of dialogue, let out your loudest, most guttural laugh so that the largest possible number of surrounding humans can hear you. If they happen to glance over, you may consider making eye contact with them, pointing at us, and shaking your head in pleased disbelief at how hilarious we constantly manage to be.

Etiquette Rule No. 2
Have a drink with Two Weird Ladies after the show
Every high school graduate knows you aren’t cool unless you drink, or at very least fill a rocks glass with ginger ale and stumble about a little. Likewise, every cat owner on Lavalife knows there is nothing sadder than drinking alone. In order for us to be the most admired gals at the festival, we need to be immersed in a hip crowd of intoxicated scenesters. While using your tipsy self to accessorize us with popularity, please remember that the only thing more awesome than a guy with a beer in his hand is a guy with a beer in one hand and money in the other. So feel free to flaunt your wealth by buying us drinks, or at very least wine glasses filled with Mountain Dew.

Etiquette Rule No. 3
Vote for Two Weird Ladies
Cheat if you must. We want to win the Audience Choice Award to prove once and for all that we are both sketch comedy masters and endearing darlings who win strangers’ hearts. After the show, you will be asked to vote for the troupe(s) you liked best. Please vote multiple times for us. If you can steal ballots from aloof audience members who are weaker than you during the show please go for it. If you choose to do some sleuth work into who is counting the ballots at the end of the festival and manage to drug them, transplant their face onto yours, assume their identity and fix the vote please be our guest.

Etiquette Rule No. 4.
Talk loudly about how great Two Weird Ladies are
Whether you are at the bar, on the subway, in an important business meeting or passing time at the library while they spray your apartment for bedbugs, be sure to always be talking loudly about how great we are as both comedians and people. If you are alone, a great way to do this is to hold your Blackberry to your ear and pretend you are talking to your lover about things you love. Some examples of things you might choose to say are:
- “Two Weird Ladies are the funniest comedy act I’ve ever seen! And I’m a time traveller and I specifically went back in time and saw all the comedy shows ever performed since the beginning of time and, yes, they are the best.”
- “Tina Fey used to be my comedy idol, but then I saw Laura Salvas of Two Weird Ladies perform and now I just think Tina Fey is a talentless piece of human garbage with an okay face who is a disgrace to comedy and women worldwide.”
- “Did you hear about the terrible civil war in Romania? No? Oh, well, that’s because Mandy Sellers of Two Weird Ladies went to Romania and singlehandedly stopped the war before it even started and now there is a life-size statue of her in Bucharest because she is a national symbol of peace.”
- “We have to break up. I can’t love you like I love Two Weird Ladies.”
And so on, as you see fit.

Etiquette Rule No. 5
Please turn off your cell phone
A phone ringing during the show is distracting to the performers on stage and to the audience.

And there you have it. You may wish to print off a copy of these rules to bring with you to a Toronto Sketchfest show. You can use them as a self-reminder or pass them to a stranger you notice rudely violating this code. Unfortunately, despite our many emails, these etiquette reminders have not yet been posted on the official Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival website and we have been asked to strongly press the fact that these rules are not endorsed or sanctioned by Toronto Sketchfest or anyone in its employ.

If you are choosing shows to see at the festival, we’re playing Thursday March 7th and Thursday March 14th at 8pm at the Lower Ossington Theatre. We’re doing two totally different sets, so seeing us twice means two different shows. We’re doing some favourites and some brand new stuff, plus we’re performing alongside two other great troupes each night (The Short Form Richards and The Hooligans on the 7th; Side Effects and Deadpan Powerpoint on the 14th). Tickets are $15 and can be bought here. You can also get a festival pass that allows you into a number of shows for a lower rate.

We hope to see you at the festival and to overhear you saying gratuitously flattering things about us in the presence of strangers.



Things That Make Us Happy in Winter, by Two Weird Ladies

Winter sucks right?  Right.  Well to combat those winter blues, Two Weird Ladies have compiled a list of things that have made us happy while we combat seasonal affective disorder.

1. Charleston, SC

We were lucky enough to go to Charleston in January to perform at the 10th annual Charleston Comedy Festival.  Not only did we get to perform two insanely fun shows, but we also got the benefit of:

Warm Weather - It was like spring had arrived and was turning into summer.  The Thursday of the festival it was 23 degrees Celsius outside!

$1 Beers - Mandy enjoyed this very much, as all festival performers were able to purchase beers at Theatre 99 (Charleston’s home for improv comedy) for the low low price of a buck!

Festival Showcase – We were asked by the festival organizers to perform a sketch at the Festival All-Star Showcase, which closed out the fest.  That was exciting in itself, but afterwards we found out that Michael Ian Black saw our sketch and laughed!

And finally, THIS!


We got to Charleston and what should we see, but the cover of the Charleston City Paper featuring our wonderful photo from Fringe, taken by Kevin Thom!

2.  Writing New Material

With the craziness of 2012 behind us, we decided it was time to buckle down and stop using our Broadway Musical sketch every time we got asked to do a show.  So over the past month or so we have written a bunch of new material that we’ve started to test out!  Characters may include eccentric innkeepers, fired businessmen, and Laura being crazy.  And you can check out most of this new material at…

3.  The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

That’s right!  Two Weird Ladies will be performing two shows at this year’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.  Check out more information here, and if you can’t wait that long to see us, come and check out The SiriusXM Sketch-Off, this Saturday at Comedy Bar!  More details can be found here, or by checking out the Facebook event.

Our 10 Weirdest Moments of 2012

As two highly organized Type A control freaks, we didn’t think we could appreciate the existence of lists any more than we already do. But this week NOW Magazine published a series of lists and, after finding ourselves included in Glenn Sumi’s Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2012, we have decided that lists are mankind’s greatest invention and that everything should be in list form, especially when it is ranking how great things are and we are included in the top 10 of said list.

So, in the spirit of list-loving and year-end roundups, we bring you a list of Two Weird Ladies’ 10 Weirdest Moments of 2012. (Some of these are more experiences than moments, but the word “moments” sounded better, OKAY?)

10. The many things that went wrong on the Fringe stage
If you saw our show, you probably thought we executed every dance move and delivered every joke with such precision and professionalism that you were tempted to file a Freedom of Information request with the government to see if we were prototypes for un-starve-able comedian robots. But there were many times that, beneath the on-stage shtick, our real selves were mentally managing heart palpitations. One afternoon poor old Manders leapt onto stage only to realize she had forgotten her ukulele pick and had to awkwardly strum our opening number with her fingers. One night my nose started bleeding halfway through the set and I had to plough through, singing, dancing, reciting monologues and even accosting members of the audience all while hoping there was not nasal blood streaming down my face. But these travesties, matched with runaway sound cues, flubbed lines and a wandering spotlight, could not stop us from being, like, the greatest and prettiest and funniest people ever.

9. Doing sketch comedy with microphones on the street in rush hour
When we booked the 6pm performance slot at the local market we didn’t imagine ourselves standing on a cement stoop at Bathurst and Dundas, performing sketch with handheld microphones so we could be heard over the squealing streetcars filled with gawking commuters. As awkward as it was to hear our songs about Nana being an idiot for believing in the afterlife echoing through the busy intersection, we ended up meeting some great Fringe performers who kindly came and saw our show.

8. Our talk show-style interviews
After being part of Larry Smith’s Talk Show – which involved us delivering rambling answers as the vaudevillian comic with a migraine drew caricatures of us in the tiny Hamilton bar that served $2 pints of “Fringe Party Beer” – we didn’t think things could get any weirder. But then we booked a slot on Mullet’s Night Show. Mullet is a zombie clown. I am terrified of clowns. I booked this show, partly because it’s a great show, partly because I didn’t want to hold Mandy back, partly because I thought the zombie factor would make the clown less scary because it meant the clown had, at one point, died and partly because I am an idiot. It is hard to endear yourself to a room full of zombie clown fans when you can’t make eye contact with the host and almost cry onstage.

7. Making some money by doing sketch comedy
Anyone who does sketch knows this does not happen. It’s not like we made enough to quit our jobs and start shopping at Whole Foods, but we were able to pay off our expenses, give bonuses to the people who helped us and cover our bar tabs. Fringe claims all proceeds go back to the performers but really they go straight to the Fringe bar.

6. Pretending to jerk off in front of our bosses
We both work fancy office jobs at which we sign off corporate emails with phrases like “Best regards” and have to go to meetings and wear pants made of tweed. Our kind, supportive directors and VPs took time out of their busy family lives to come see a glimpse of this secret comedy thing we do. What they got was us performing jerk-off motions, dropping the c-word, Mandy pretending to be mentally challenged and a scene about, well, us wanting to quit our office jobs. It was awkward. But then we both got promotions.

5. Eating a cold turkey drumstick in front of a live audience
Behind every Weird Lady is a weird director who decides nothing would be more hilarious than making someone with aversions to cold poultry and messy hands grab a chunk of meat and chew on it for a minute and a half in front of 108 people. Instead of flowers, Professional Director Kirsten Gallagher brought an insulated lunch bag containing a $9 smoked turkey drumstick to our final Fringe performance in Toronto. Mandy ate it begrudgingly. She will probably find it hilarious one day, assuming she gets dementia.

4. Being confronted by an animal rights activist
During the aforementioned Larry Smith Talk Show, when asked about our director we casually mentioned that she was currently in Vietnam and had posted a photo from her travels of some horse sushi. After returning to our table of $2 Fringe Party Beer, we were approached by a lady kind enough to tell us we had better watch what we say because people should NOT eat horses and, by the way, did we have any idea of the inhumane conditions horses used to face before being slaughtered when horse meat was available in North America? She began a gory description of horse butchery when Stage Manager Jesse asked her to please stop. I’m glad she did. She was making me hungry.

3. Being “heckled” to pillow fight in a scene with no pillows
Doing 14 consecutive Fringe shows for theatre nerds of all ages kind of helped us forget that a Friday at 11pm all-male improv show at a bar might attract a younger, drink-y-er, yell-y-er crowd. That said, we never expected that our scene about two girls getting ready for a blind date would illicit cries of “MAKE OUT!” or “HAVE A PILLOW FIGHT!” We seriously considered abandoning our script for a pillow fight but unfortunately no pillows were made available to us by the venue. And we always save our make out sessions for after our shows in a private bathroom stall.

2. That day when we did not see or talk to each other
Saturday, August 18th. I was camping and did not have cell phone reception. I drew Mandy’s face on a beach ball and cooked her a strip loin steak. The next day the steak was gone. I am not sure whether a) the medium-rare meat enticed a bear to the campsite or b) beach ball Mandy came to life, ate the steak then smashed a Coleman cooler open on a rock and also ate all the raw sausages and bacon then ripped open the garbage and threw it all over the ground. I guess we will never know.

1. Having strangers say nice things about us
While we are bored to death with strangers commenting on how pretty and smart and nice we are, Fringe was our first real experience with strangers commenting on us being funny. Well, strangers, it’s about time! There was nothing more wonderful than seeing reviewers or bloggers use adjectives to describe us such as: irreverent, entertaining, explosive, popular, intelligent, fresh, fascinating, hilarious, really fucking hilarious, energetic, genius, funny, smart, beautiful, bizarre, hysterical, clever, creative, damn good, likeable, impeccable, admirable, infectious, unrelenting, fantastic, self-aware, fun, refreshing, charming, magical, 20-somethings, fast-paced, fantastic, professional, young, authentic, laugh-out-loud, top-drawer, and quality. Add to this being included in lists such as Torontoist’s Top 10 things at Fringe and NOW Magazine’s Outstanding Fringe Productions and Top 10 Comedy Shows of 2012 and you’ve got some major ego problems. Never wanting to let things go to our heads, Mandy and I are currently writing a series of highly racist sketches that take place in the bathroom, all of which are eight minutes long and end with one of us realizing “it was all a dream.”

Next year we will release a list of the ten best stages we have been booed off of. Until then, thank you, everyone, for giving us such an incredible 2012!

On looking like a deranged Easter Bunny

It was less than an hour until our Grade 12 musical debuted on the cafeteria stage. As I stared at myself in the looking glass, adjusting the strap of the fluffy bunny-ear hood I was wearing around my paint-smeared White Rabbit face, I decided to abandon my dream of going into musical theatre.

Not that I could sing or dance or act well enough to ever be cast in a Mirvish production of, well, anything, but up until the embarrassingly half-assed adaptation of Alice in Wonderland my school barfed onto a stage that year I had at least found theatre fun and exciting. But being ordered to drive my 1984 Chevette in full rabbit regalia, accompanied by a six-foot-tall caterpillar, the King and Queen of hearts and a Dormouse who looked like she was wearing blackface, to the local mall to spend an hour loitering by the food court handing out jaggedly cut flyers didn’t exactly sell the dream. It instead gave me a glimpse into what many working actors end up doing – wearing a Best Buy mascot uniform handing out coupons at Blue Jays games in exchange for $30 and a slice of pizza.

So now, instead of being an understudy for Scarborough Theatre’s production of Brigadoon, I have a job that allows me the luxury of sitting at a desk all day being as un-creative as possible. This is great because it pays me more than $30 and when people get pregnant we get lots of free pizza. It also means, however, that without creating my own opportunities on the outside I would slowly lose my mind and end up renovating my bedroom into a theatre for my eight Persian cats so I could dress them in Winnie the Pooh costumes and have them reenact the Disney movie over and over until they got it right.

This need to create my own opportunities means I never rest, rarely sleep and will likely die of old age before I turn 50. But the long nights of taking classes, writing sketches, doing shows and being drunk networking are just so gosh darn fun. Not having the training or the skills to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret – despite my striking resemblance to Liza Minnelli – means I get to write my own lines, make my own character choices and work with who I want (MANDY!). It also means the laughs I get are mine – ALL MINE! (Except for the ones that are Mandy’s.)

If I had never been forced to play the White Rabbit in that travesty of a musical (which included a dance choreographed to a remix of TLC’s “No Scrubs,” a set made of painted trees with compact discs glued to the branches, and four girls in school football uniforms dancing to “All in the Golden Afternoon”) maybe I would still have had hopes and dreams when university application time came around. Maybe I would have gone into a musical theatre program, would have never been quite good enough and ended up dressed as the Snuggle Bear handing out buttons to desperate children at The Ex. Instead I gave up on my goals early, which has proved to be one of the best choices I ever made. Thank you, (name of director withheld), for your exceptional lack of inspiration.

Seriously, though – that play was a piece of shit.