Tinder Dates and TED Talks: Sketchy Parodies Pop and Campus Culture

“What’s hell like? You want to know what hell is like? There are only yellow Starbursts!” cried Jack Lawlor ’17, playing Dr. Lucifer, a devil-turned-geology-professor giving a TED talk at Friday’s Sketchy performance. His remark earned several dramatic gasps and exclamations from the members of Sketchy who were planted in the audience.

Sketchy is a skit-based comedy group co-headed by Kristen Overly ’16 and Lawlor. The 30-minute show consisted of five skits, each parodying an Andover campus issue or some element of pop culture. Lawlor’s mock TED Talk was the opening act in Sketchy’s performance.

“[The Lucifer skit was my favorite], because it was mostly a monologue with reaction phrases from the different Sketchy members in the audience. [It] was really fun because it seemed like the audience was interacting with the main character,” said Marie Latham ’18, who attended the show on Friday.

Dressed in Andover gear, John Moreland ’18 starred as Head of School John Palfrey in a musical skit based on the campus’s policy of affirmative consent. In the skit, many eager, wide-eyed students approached Moreland, interpreting the new policy as permission to have sex. Riley Hughes ’17, playing one of the students, even asked if there would be a “sex challenge” as a parody on Palfrey’s sleep challenge last November.

Lawlor said, “We really go for the spectacle of it, like the total ridiculousness of the show sometimes. And by having a musical dance number, it adds to the ridiculousness of it. [The consent sketch] was the epitome of the ridiculous dance number, because it was set to the YMCA [song], and it’s singing about sex, so how can you get any better than that?”

“Susie’s Lady” was another popular sketch, featuring Overly as an overly enthusiastic Susie’s cashier. When another Sketchy member asked for a cookie, Overly plastered on a chagrined expression and replied in a nasally voice, “Oh, we don’t have den cookies on Tuesdays… That’s a Saturday thing,” which caused the audience to laugh and snap in agreement.

Overly said, “Kristen Wiig is basically my idol, and she does this skit on ‘Saturday Night Live’ called ‘Target Lady,’ so I basically adapted that to Susie’s and wrote [the sketch] with Emma Kelley ’17, and we had a lot of fun with that. For me personally, it was a dream to [perform this sketch] since we started Sketchy a couple of years ago [because] I love Kristen Wiig and I’ve been able to [mimic Wiig’s] voice for a while.”

Sketchy also performed a Tinder date sketch, starring Jennifer Kim ’16 and Jon Call ’16 as a couple on a date in a restaurant. The waiter, played by Scot Gladstone ’16, approached the couple to take their order. Call ordered a steak, but Kim began to list her eating limitations instead, which was the entire menu. Eventually, her date asked her what she could eat. Nonchalantly, Kim replied that she eats vegan. The lights faded out as the waiter threw a person on stage. “I only eat vegans,” said Kim, before proceeding to “eat” the person.

Kim said, “I saw a Tumblr post that had a similar joke about eating vegans, and I thought it was really funny, so I wrote a sketch inspired off of that. This sketch wasn’t really the type of humor we usually do… we usually make a lot of dirty jokes, and [we] kind of do random humor as well, but this [sketch] had more of a story line.”

Sketchy was founded two years ago by Overly and Lane Unsworth ’15, and this performance was their first of the school year. Sketchy only performs original material, finding inspiration from “Saturday Night Live,” YouTube and Craigslist.
Moreland wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I decided to join Sketchy for a combination of reasons. I’ve always wanted to be in a comedy club, and I love to perform for other people on stage. Sketchy is also a good fit for me because for the first time, I’ve been able to help in the process of writing sketches… It’s kind of like ‘Saturday Night Live!’”