Sykes Counselor Robots and YES+ Parodies: Sketchy’s Skits Appeal to Andover Humor

The Theatre Classroom allowed Sketchy performers to connect with audience on all sides, breaking the “fourth wall.”

From a Weekender Update skit reminiscent of Saturday Night Live, to a Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center counselor robot, to a parody of a YES+ talk about periods, Andover’s sketch comedy group, Sketchy, performed a variety of short skits in the Theatre Classroom last weekend. As their first show of the year, the performance introduced the creativity and humor of Sketchy, eliciting applause and laughter from the audience.

Led by co-heads Jack Swales ’24 and Kaia Heslin ’23, each script and skit — known as a sketch — is written, performed and directed by students, and ranges from current events to on-campus occurrences. According to Swales, Sketchy personalized their performance by using Andover-specific lingo and references to cater to their audience of solely Andover students.

“I would say that we try to keep the humor very Andover-based. We can make jokes about really anything that we want to, but it’s really funny if we, as a comedy group at [Andover], make jokes about [Andover], because then the students are able to connect with them a bit more, and find them funnier,” said Swales.

Lydia Mechegia ’24, an attendee of the performance, voiced her appreciation for the skill of the performers and the energy of the audience.

“I enjoyed the humor and seeing my friends do their thing and be funny… I think that the show was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing…. The audience was very supportive and laughing all the time and it was just a really fun show overall,” said Mechegia.

The club began preparing content at the beginning of the school year to ensure a successful show. According to Juan Sepulveda ’24, the group met each day for an hour or two in the weeks immediately before the show to ensure that everyone was memorizing and to get extra practice time.

Uniquely, the audience surrounded the stage on three sides for Sketchy’s performance, providing different perspectives from which spectators could enjoy the show. Kashvi Ramani ’24 discussed how this immersive performance setting helped the interactivity of Sketchy’s skits with the audience.

“I think the fact that it was in the black box theater on all sides really helped that. [It was] lot more accessible to the audience, we could interact with audience members. A lot of the time we broke the fourth wall and looked at the audience like ‘Oh my god,’ ‘What?,’ ‘Are you serious?’” said Ramani.

Looking forward, Sketchy plans to perform again during Winter Term. According to Sepulveda, as an established group on campus, they hope to continue spreading laughter with regular shows every term. Swales reflected on how interacting with the audience brough another layer to Sketchy’s performance.

“My favorite part was the audience reactions, and not even just to the sketches that I was in. But to the show as a whole, I think it was really entertaining to see what the audience found funny. And then what didn’t really go so well with the audience and kind of how they reacted with it…. It was nice to see that our work was paying off in the end,” said Swales.