2011 #TOsketchfest: Brie’s Wrap-Up

Well, my gig as one of the “Humber Interns” at the 2011 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival is over, and what a ride it has been!

If my calculations are correct, I performed in 1 show with my sketch troupe, LaughDraft; I saw 12 shows, during which I was able to check out 23 sketch troupes; and I attended 3 workshops2 free and 1 that was supposed to be paid, but because of my “intern” status, I was able to check out for free. (Thank you to whoever made that possible, by the way – it was great to meet/work with other amazingly talented people from various other sketch and improv troupes.)

It helped that I was working on the Troupe and Video of the Day posts leading up to the festival, because I was able to get to know some of the troupes before I saw them perform.

Working with the producers with the fest, the other staff members and alongside the many volunteers has been such a fun experience.  I met and worked with so many great people.  What a treat!

Also, I’m not surprised but very happy for my buddies Vest of Friends, as well as for Falcon Powder and Peter n’ Chris for the awards they picked up.  All extremely well merited, if you ask me.  They all really did stand out this year!

I’d give honourable mention to CBC’s This is That & Two Kids One Hall for really knocking my socks off.  These two shows, part of the headliner series, even though I had to watch them on the sidelines, were so great, they were inspirational!  Scott & Kevin from the Kids in the Hall are icons in Canadian comedy.  To see them continue to work their stuff and that it’s funnier than ever says great things about comedy in Canada, I think.  That it exists?  That it’s here to stay?  Whether you like it or not.  (I don’t know?)

And This is That, I’d never heard the broadcast before, but the mere concept, to me, was hilarious.  And believe me, I will be listening from now on.  They were fantastic!  A CBC faux-broadcast taken completely seriously in all of deadpan’s splendor!   I’m still in stitches!

****

Other moments or troupes that seem to stand out during the fest to me were:

Charles were so funny, so witty, so smart!  The reference-levels and knowledge they possess is quite impressive.  And that they demonstrated this knowledge in their sketches is something to aspire to.  I’ve made a note of that for my own future-sketch writing.

Fratwurst‘s sketches were super clever, but their Barbershop Quartet song really set them apart! (And the post-balloon make-out sess.  Way hot!)

Ninja Sex Party‘s video about the couple hooking up at a party.  Holy crap that was funny! And unexpected!  Bam!

Inside Joke Film‘s energy was out of this world! Seriously, they must be some kind of crazy-energy-robots.

Punch in the Box took physical comedy to a whole new level performing an entire scene topless, using their hands to cover their boobs.  Grown women, people.  This was hilarious!  (Don’t worry Mom, I don’t intend to try this out in any of my sketches any time soon.)

The Queer Comedy Collective’s “Dyke Moments in History” about the Invention of the Purse was ridiculously funny!

She Said What’s Napoleon sketch was probably the funniest sketch in the entire festival.  There, I said it.

Shoelesss banana bandana and celery cap have still got me laughing spontaneously on the bus, making other TTC riders uncomfortable.  And their Twilight scene?  Oh man.  Too much!!!

The National Theatre of the World, their professionalism and their chemistry was truly phenomenal.  I want to see EVERY show they do from now until the end of time.

****

That wasn’t it though.  So many sketch troupes.  So much hilarity.  This list could go on for days!

What I’m getting at, I think, is that it was such a great experience to be a part of this festival, both in the role of intern and performer.

The only thing left to say, I think, Thank you Julianne & Paul (and Andrew).  And bring on TOsketchfest 2012!

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