First Sketchy Show of the Year Backed by Improvisational Preparation

Draping bed sheets across the overhead lines to create their backstage in the George Washington Tent, Sketchy transformed what was normally a dining venue into a theater. Wearing an undersized Hooters tank top and dog ear headband, Ethan Weinstein ’23 crawled on the floor and bellowed in a deep hoarse voice, impersonating Yukon the dog as Hormone Monster from the Big Mouth TV series, sending the audience into raucous laughter. 

“There [are] a lot of on-the-fly instances where if you looked at this yesterday, we were not put together at all… [Co-Head Loulou Sloss ’22] was wearing this shirt, which was why it was two sizes too small for me. She was like, ‘Throw it on’. Those moments of last-minute [preparation], that’s my favorite part… I think people liked it a lot more because [the show was] on the go and energetic,” said Weinstein. 

Students packed into the George Washington Tent Saturday evening to watch the first and only Sketchy Comedy Show of the 2020-2021 school year. According to Sketchy Co-Head Mac Katkavitch ’21, they had not finalized their group for the year until a few days before the show, contributing to the show’s improvisational energy.

“The highlight was definitely just getting to know all these people that I have met four days ago. And they have all learned all of these sketches very quickly and they really put themselves out in a way I was not expecting to, because they are all freshmen who have never done anything like this before,” said Katkavitch. 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sketchy had not put on a show since the Winter Term of the 2019-2020 School Year. As a new Lower, Alex Schoonmaker ’23 found his first Sketchy show hilarious and cited Weinstein’s impersonation of Yukon as his favorite part of the show. 

“[I thought it was] very funny… The dog one by Ethan Weinstein. I really liked it. His voice deepened, and that was very good,” said Schoonmaker. 

Sloss stated that some transgressive elements of Sketchy’s show contributed to the success of the show. She expressed that audience reactions differed from her expectations, but still indicated an appreciation of the show. 

“I think that people really liked the outlandishness of it because a lot of the things were more [shocking] than they were [funny] so people did a lot more gasping than I was expecting. All in all, I think it was pretty good, and we touched on taboo subjects people didn’t want to touch on,” said Sloss. 

Despite the group’s efforts to incorporate social commentary in their performance, Katkavich noted how sexually charged jokes were likely to obtain the strongest audience reaction. According to Katkavich, the two most receptive acts, “Loulou Gets a Job at Hooters” and “Yukon Speaks”, did not pertain at all to social commentary. 

“We wanted to pick and choose our moments to make any sort of social commentary, like ‘take some hedonism’… we definitely tried to make a wide range of topics. However, we are naive each time because we always put so much effort into making these clever little one-liners, but all everybody laughs at are dick jokes,” said Katkavitch.