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Although day seven of SketchFest kept me from watching the Bulls beat the Heat, I did get to see a sketch about a vampire with erectile dysfunction in his fangs.
Chicago-based Monsters From the Id, which has appeared at all ten SketchFests, put on a smart, politically incorrect set. Case in point: a sketch on French clowns who perform for Haitian children, throwing pies while the children plot to kill them and eat the pies. Their most unique bit was Mr. Know-It-All's elaborate history of Labor Day. Featuring characters like a warlock John D. Rockefeller, a coked-up J.P. Morgan, and the Labor Fairy, the hilarious saga showed off the group’s timing and writing prowess. The set also included a video advertising an inappropriate country singer, known for hits like “Put a Salve on It” and “Mustache Rides Are Always Free.”
Up from New Orleans, Stupid Time Machine performed to a notably rambunctious crowd. Set in the past, the future, and places like your in-laws house, their sketches resonated because of the satirical characters. The first piece was my favorite: a political debate in a post-apocalyptic future where machines have taken control. Played as spot-on caricatures of current politicians, the candidates discuss issues like the rights of mole-people and the formation of a colony on Garbage Mountain. When accused of visiting prostitutes, one candidate retorts that he buys local. Another piece involved cavemen making water-cooler conversation about their misadventures in hunting and gathering.
Accidental Company, an energetic Toronto duo, began with a sketch about Alec Baldwin creating a casual wear collection that's really just a white button-down and dress pants. “We don’t take the quality of these items lying down," Baldwin warns, "but you probably shouldn’t lie down in any of these items.” Members Brian Crosby and Jordan Kennedy built momentum with one creative bit on a student who turns in The Catcher in the Rye to prove that nothing is original, and another about a jackass who wanders through the “linguistic swamp of confusion” attempting to deal with the question, “Did you sleep with my girlfriend?” Crosby and Kennedy used the space well and kept my attention with song, dance, and charming Canadian accents.