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.
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