“Open up baby,” said John Moreland ’18 as he squirted whipped cream into the mouth of audience member Emma Chatson ’18. The crowd roared with laughter as he straddled Chatson, giving her a lap dance. This scene, which poked fun at Blue Key Head Extravaganzas, was one of several skits performed by Sketchy, Andover’s sketch comedy group. Sketchy’s first show of the year took place last Saturday in the Black Box Theatre and featured seven sketches.
Co-head Nell Fitts ’18 said, “We were doing a fair amount of parody and satire, so if I had to pick a theme, I’d go with that. It’s important because we’re all very narcissistic and need an outlet.”
“We performed a set of sketches spanning from topics like fake friends and weird things couples do to abortion and couples therapy. [Some skits] just sort of started from a concept that sounded funny to us, and it would gradually develop into a sketch,” said Mac Katkavich ’21, a member of Sketchy.
Despite some technical issues, Sketchy’s cast continued to perform under the unexpected circumstances. According to Fitts, the best parts of shows often happen during moments that are unplanned. Audience member Yishu Chen ’19 said, “I loved how [Max Rigby-Hall ’18] just improvised with his phone’s flashlight when the lights malfunctioned and how [Rachna Lewis ’19] incorporated her injury into the skit. Sketchy shows are the best because it’s somewhere where you can have a lot of fun and just laugh wholeheartedly without taking offense at anything, which is not always easy to do here.”
Co-head John Moreland ’18 said, “I was proud of everyone in the group. As a co-head, it’s always great to see your group succeed and feel good about themselves after a show.”
Several skits highlighted current issues on campus. According to Rigby-Hall, all members contributed to writing sketches. “For example, [Lucy Comer ’18] and I started writing speed dating, and then everyone kind of picked it up to finish it. I would say our biggest challenge was not breaking character. It’s hard not to laugh when I hear [Lewis] say ‘butter my egg roll’ directly to my face,” said Rigby-Hall.
Henry Crater ’20, another member of Sketchy, said, “A lot of the material was relevant to what’s going on at Andover right now… For example, the abortion sketch was making a point about the low quality of the sex education or preparation [that Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center] provides.”
The show also parodied various faculty members, namely Assistant Director of Admission Peter Dignard ’07, Associate Director of Admission Natalie Wombwell, and Director of Admission Operations Vivien Mallick, in a sketch titled “C.ENLOW19.” In this skit, Sketchy brought together recent gossip on campus about faculty members.
“[The sketch] was about Team Shuman, the admissions team, making a catfish Instagram account and trying to follow students. ‘C.ENLOW19’ was based off of an actual Instagram account that we found. [Rigby-Hall] texted our group chat about it, and we all thought it was really odd. [Rigby-Hall] DMed her, and we used the actual responses in the sketch. We all thought it would be funny if Admissions made this account to snoop on students,” said Sketchy member Emily Jackson ’19.