Sketch Shows Coming Up

By Jack O’keeffe

8/1 — Sink Or Sketch @ 7:00 P.M. @ PHIT — Always a great show, The Rhubarbs continue a killer run and the new team this month is a collection of really impressive up-and-coming sketch writer/performers. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Sink or Sketch and I’m so happy to have it back.

8/3 — Page To Stage Class Graduation Show @ 4:30 P.M. @ PHIT — Bit of a shameless self-plug, and it won’t be the last. I wrote the curriculum for and tried out a new class at PHIT dedicated to taking scripts and taking the steps to produce a tight sketch show. I anticipated that it would be a lot of work on everyone’s part, but I could not have anticipated how passionate this group of students would be when it came to throwing themselves into a show. This show is funny, surprising, and I’m so excited to see everyone involved go on to be involved in other sketch projects moving forward.

8/4 — “Butt” @ 8:30 P.M. @ P.M. @ Good Good Comedy Theater — From Los Angeles, this duo have written and acted on projects with Comedy Central, IFC, Funny or Die and Twitch as well as co-written and co-starred in a self-produced pilot Cowards which won “Best Comedy Pilot” at the New York TV Festival. If you get a chance to see sketch comedy in Philly from out of Philly, always always always pursue that opportunity!

8/3 — Que: A Sketch Show @ 9:00 P.M. @ PHIT —Que’s bringing an all-out show to PHIT as part of the Fringe festival later this year, but come catch a sneak peek of what happens when on of Philadelphia’s best crews dedicates a full show to sketch.

8/8 — Monologues + One-Player Show w/Gina Gennari @ 7:00 P.M. @ PHIT — Dru Kramcsak always puts together a memorable, surprising line up of monologists and Gina Gennari always bring a unique and personal perspective to her work that I think is worth being in the audience for.

8/9 + 8/10 — Hot Winter Bods @ 9:00 @ PHIT — One of my favorite new sketch teams to come together in the past year, Hot Winter Bods has the kind of passion and creativity that makes for a fun sketch team — but more than anything their sketches are just so g-d polished and sharp that results in consistently strong shows.


Opportunities

I’ll be honest, I don’t have much to put here for the time being. I’m currently working with PHIT artistic director Mike Marbach on shifting around the schedule at the theatre and determine better ways to incorporate shows that give platforms to comedians getting started/looking for places to take risk that can boost their audience and serve as more of a community event than just performing into a void. I’m excited about that change, but between that and the encroaching Fringe Festival at PHIT, there’s not a ton here for a little bit. If yr still sketch hungry, take a look at classes at PHIT and Good Good — and if you’re a project of yr own, look for local bar-based comedy showcases and take a risk to perform in an environment other than a theater!


Recommendations

It always breaks my heart to see sketch comedy created by people of color fall by the wayside in the larger cultural conversation. Me and everyone else can’t shut up about I Think You Should Leave, and I wish I saw such enthusiasm for projects like HBO’s Random Acts Of Flyness or Comedy Central’s Alternatino. I want to live in the world where no one can shut the fuck up about IFC’s Sherman’s ShowcaseThe show’s second episode is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year, with set-up and punchlines overlapping and folding in over each other at a breakneck pace. I came across it a few days ago and I watched the free episode they put on Youtube (linked above) four times, I just love it so g-d much and I want everyone to watch it. Another show premiering this week that I am looking forward to is HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show from Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and — one of my favourite internet comedians ever Quinta Brunson. Check those out and watch, seek out, and prop up comedy that isn’t from white folks!

I Am Proud To Have Presented This Newsletter About Sketch Comedy In Philadelphia, Are You Proud To Have Been Presented This Newsletter About Sketch Comedy In Philadelphia? I Will Now End The Newsletter With My Catchy And Signature Sign-Off: Long Live This Beautiful Stage Poetry, This Delightful Culmination Of The Mediums — A Classic Gesamtkunstwerk If Ever There Was One — That We Call Sketch Comedy, Or ‘Skits’ If Yer Godless. Death To Chandler From The Hit NBC Sitcom Friends as played by the coward Matthew Perry — who would later go on to play Gubernatorial candidate Mike Kristeva on The Good Wife And Later Reprise His Role On The Good Fight, Available On CBS All Access. And Everything In Between Of Those Two? Welp, My Compatriots — my dearest of companions, I’ll Have Y’all Know That That’s Just A Little Wild Little Thing That I Like To Call Livin’, Pard’ner! If You Don’t Call It That, Well That’s Your Prerogative Or Perhaps You Got Another Word In Another Language That Can Better Express The Specificity Of The Experience, Kinda Like “Schadenfruede” Or “Shouganai”, But I Would Say But For The Sake Of This Particular Conversation, Which Is Admittedly One-Sided By Nature, Let’s Call It Livin’. The Day-To-Day WhatNottery Of It All That Goes By While Yer Sippin’ On That KeroKero Cola as the TikTok of the Click-Clock goes by. We All Gotta Get Up Get Out, Like That Movie? And Get Goin’ For Something When The Rooster Releases Its Morning Cry, Truth Be Told. Whether It’s The Sunrise Or The SunSKETCH, Ain’t That Somethin’ You Find To Be True Even In This Day And Age? I Know I Sure Do, Friendo. And I DO Consider Ya A Friendo, Friendo. Well, I’ll Be In Tarnations — This Ol’ Frontier Isn’t Gonna Sow Its Own Seeds, Ain’t Ya Heard? There’s Gold Out West, But There’s Love In This Soil. After all’s, someone’s gotta make a first, second, or third impact on this land into something ‘fore the state gets to it, else we find ourselves one dust short of a hundred dogs. Say that prayer with me now before ya go —”I’ve done sketch, and Jesus loves me.” Well now, put on your Good Time Hat and Giddy Up Or Giddy Out My Way! #GoodWifeGoodLife 

– Jack O’Keeffe

P.S. If anything about this newsletter is worthwhile to you and you want to show yr affection, I’m currently crowdfunding for the Fringe show I’m writing/directing this year and any contributions would be greatly appreciated. Getting to work on it with the exceptional cast that has assembled for this show have been some of my favourite nights of the past year and I can’t wait for everyone to see all the work they’re putting into it. Even $5 will mean the world.