Sketch Comedy at Second City, Hollywood
Second City, a breeding ground for some of the world’s most famous comedians, features shows every night of the week in addition to their improv and comedy classes. I was fortunate enough to check out two of their weekend sketch comedy shows, Some F*cking Advice and Live Rude Girls.
Some F*cking Advice
Tackling a variety of sex-related topics, Some F*cking Advice has a diverse cast of queer, bisexual, asexual, transgender and straight performers, all of whom are very talented. The cast, along with director Tim Paul, wrote and performed in comedic sketches and musical interludes dealing with issues like circumcision, BDSM, role-playing, cheating, Asian fetishes, and even featured burlesque dancing. The cast was fearless, diving into their various roles with energy, wit and extreme physicality – Paul Bianchi and Mikey Mulhearn showed off their wrestling skills, and Camirin Farmer her vocal range.
However, even with the cast doing a frantic (and funny) recap at the end, the sketches unfortunately didn’t stick with me, the punchlines not that strong. There were definitely funny moments, and the performers gave their all, but I wasn’t sure what the takeaway was supposed to be. Some vignettes started off with a good premise but it couldn’t be sustained, petering out in the end. Some sketches didn’t seem to have a punchline at all. Having seen Live Rude Girls first and thoroughly enjoying it, I wanted more from the writing of Some F*cking Advice.
The show contains nudity, mature themes and (obviously) language.
Runs Saturday nights at 10pm through April 28th.
Live Rude Girls
With a cast of 6 diverse women, Live Rude Girls attacks the female experience today – from unwanted dick pics to cat-calling, from mansplaining to dating a douchebag – with candor and humor. The satire of their sketches really hit home for me, having found myself in their characters’ shoes on more than one occasion.
The cast was exquisite: Pia Minsky and Jacklyn Uweh poked fun at being an African American woman surrounded by ignorant, white sorority sisters; Andra Whipple, as a teenage boy, stopped seeing women-of-a-certain-age as people; Robyn Heller struggled to answer questions about sex education; and Darby Rae had to deal with Audrey Goodman as her passive-aggressive, body-shaming mother. Uweh, in particular, shined in several skits, as a male feminist ally and a creative writer reminiscent of E.L. James.
The sketches were punctuated by female empowerment songs during the blackouts, included a Q&A session with the audience, and culminated in a song-and-dance number, which was a very fun note to end the show on. While some sketches were stronger than others, they all had the bite and sadness of life for present-day women. However, this is not a show for women only; I went with a straight male friend of mine, and he might have been laughing the loudest at the male caricatures on stage. Needless to say, the majority of the Live Rude Girls sketches landed with a punch – a raunchy good time!
This show contains mature themes and language.
Runs Friday nights at 9:30pm through April 27th.