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Yes, Billy! It's Ok To Laugh At the Man in the Wheelchair!

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Yes, Billy! It's OK To Laugh At The Man In the Wheelchair!, Young Urban Comedians' Club, at Second City, Donny's Skybox Studio. The hint of political incorrectness in the title was about the only comical thing in this sketch-comedy show performed by a cast whose thoroughly inept delivery of poorly scripted material was nothing less than stunning. Sober opening-night audience members sat slack-jawed in horror at the dismal vista unfolding onstage while their inebriated cohorts mustered only petite chortles and vague beer-soaked hoots.

The Young Urban Comedians' Club failed to present a single original let alone humorous moment in their hour-long performance, which would have ended in street rioting in a more gentlemanly era. The jokes were either keg-party cutesy (a ghastly medley of 80s car-related songs) or handpicked from a stopped-up toilet--available vaginas, mercurial penises, Jesus inserting a tampon, obese men in pink tutus (an inexcusable bit that nevertheless provides a place in comedy heaven for actor Nick Rosario, bless his heart).

Sketch comedy often calls for characters to be put into normal situations with abnormal characters or props or vice versa. Here characters were plopped into potentially funny scenarios as if their mere presence were the punch line. This was not irony, cleverness, or insolence; it was stupidity. Obviously inexperienced, the cast sometimes delivered lines so faint and muffled it was difficult to catch the jokes. Perhaps a blessing in disguise.

--Erik Piepenburg

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