Montreal Comedy Festival: The Birthday Boys on The Sketch Show

The trouble with most sketch comedy is that it's built around a joke as the premise, with no real resolution. So, usually, there's a funny setup, a bunch of jokes, and just kind of peters out. Perhaps you're familiar with this storytelling shortfall -- you should be, if you've ever watched Saturday Night Live.

I've got a lot to say about The Sketch Show, which I caught last night at the Mainline Theatre, but first, I have to expound upon The Birthday Boys; specifically, last night's opening sketch, which was, by far, the funniest shit I've seen in a long time. That's a bold statement, I know.

The Los Angeles troupe was last in a terrific lineup, taking the stage and informing the audience that the first portion of their show would be in 3D, and that we all had 3D glasses taped under our seats. Sure enough, we did.  Since the last time I put on 3D glasses, I was sitting alone in a movie theater trying not to feel like a pedophile, this made me a twee bit nervous. Nonetheless, I put them on, like a good sport. The lights went down, a large screen lit up, and the Birthday Boys exited, leaving the audience to watch a video that featured pulsating words. "Blue." "Red." "Blue." "Red."

 This is the video? What am I missing?

And then, the Boys burst from backstage, garbed in red and blue sweatsuits, and began throwing things into the audience. Balloons, wads of paper, styrofoam packing peanuts. They ran at the audience and ran back, forward, back, throwing, waving, getting in our faces. Hoisting foam cutouts, mounted on poles, and pushing them out into the audience.

This was the "3D experience." So stupid. So brilliant.

It kept going, and going, until it wasn't funny any more, and then, kept going. And kept going. Until it was hilarious.

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