The Sketch Comedy Life: You Could Literally Do Sketch Show About Anything
The great thing about sketch comedy is that you can literally do a sketch show about anything.
A few years ago I did a sketch show with the Latinx Comedy Pachanga and Pack Theater friends called “Previously on X-Men,” a night of X-Men themed blackout and name-the-game sketches, with longer pieces sprinkled in between.
A blackout sketch is a 1-2 page sketch with a really clear premise and strong game, usually being one powerful joke.
A name-the-game sketch sets up the joke of the sketch up top with a framing device, like how I intended to use ‘Previously on X-Men.’
I got inspired by the old X-Men: The Animated Series (XTAS), the SNL sketch MacGruber, and the experimental energy circulating at the Pack Theater.
Before every new episode of XTAS, a short clip summing up the past episode would play with the preface, “Previously on X-Men.” The clip was always over the top and dramatic.
It then occurred to me, “Hey! We can have a show that uses ‘Previously on X-Men’ as a set up/framing device for a series of X-Men themed 1-2 minute sketches.
MacGruber had a similar energy in that it was a 3-4 minute sketch broken down into three 1 minute chapters, with every chapter making the sketch bigger and bigger. Go watch a MacGruber sketch right now on YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.
The Pack had really cool shows like Book Report and Speedface that were big inspirations. Book Report did sketches around a classic children’s book, and was always fun to watch. Speedface was a show where you had 90 seconds to do a bit. It encouraged high risk/high reward, ambitious pieces. I loved watching this show and performing on it whenever I could.
Finally, I had an amazing ensemble in the Latinx Comedy Pachanga and my various Pack friends who stepped up to make the show a blast! Sketches included the Latinx-Men, Veterano Spiderman, Wolverine at Home Depot, Alpha Alpha Flight, and more.
It’s a project I will always look at fondly. Go create the comedy you want to see.
#sketch #sketchcomedy #improv #packtheater #xmen #xtas #snl #blackoutsketch #namethegame #latinxcomedypachanga