Austin is getting funnier this week, as ATX Sketch Fest kicked off last night in its 7th year with two shows featuring sketch performers from Austin and Chicago at Coldtowne Theater. Comedy and sketch fans gathered into the theater from the bar area as soon as they heard the gong!
Recap by ChinLin Pan
The Monday night line-up consisted of acts from Will Cleveland, Mac Blake, Aly Dixon, Lisa Friedrich, Elizabeth Schantz, Maggie Maye, Maria Pond, Byron Brown, Molly Moore, and Martin Urbano.
Will Cleveland’s “And Banana Makes Two”
Will Cleveland’s show came in multiple parts, each divided up with brief sketch videos. Honestly, the videos didn’t amuse me, but he started out strong when he preps to put on the ape suit… And then straps on a rubber penis. You can’t forget the penis, right?! (Disclaimer: He passes on the ape suit to another person who helps out with his act later.)
Cleveland continues with an act of a guy who takes improv too seriously. He takes suggestions from the audience and stumbles with it. People threw out words like “tiger” (twice), “glasses,” and “bananas.”
As a short break, Cleveland invites everyone to stand up and dance to DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide.”
Cleveland wraps up his show with his “Netflix and Chill” act: There’s nothing sexier than a man getting in his sweat pants, making out with his pizza, and shaking up a beer can to Barry White’s “I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More.” And when that can exploded… Everyone burst out louding. The act concluded with a call from his significant other who’s coming home in 15 minutes. “Yeah, I guess I got time to jack off.” AND LIGHTS OFF.
I Didn’t See You There: The Show of One-Person Shows
Mac Blake hosted and kicked off the one-person acts.
Aly Dixon: As Carl Tangerine the receptionist, Dixon poked fun at work jokes, college beach parties (“ladies love sand”), and therapist best friends.
Lisa Friedrich: As a driver driving a hitchhiker “Carl,” Friedrich rambles on about the kind of music she likes (“I like music that goes hard and long into the night…”), her favorite Tom Cruise movies, and her favorite roof (Beaumont, TX, y’all).
Elizabeth Schantz: As a 7th grade “jock with a cock” running for student body president (emphasis on the “body”), Schantz is “a man with a vision” who hates unicorns and having boners in the classroom.
Maggie Maye: Super Kitty was the cutest interviewee in this alternate universe where Maye boasted about her superpowers on her resume and explained—in great detail—her past experience. There was, however, a 3-month break where she joined the Battalion of Darkness and her evil side got loose.
Maria Pond: Who would’ve thought TSA officers would be funny? Pond takes on the persona of a TSA officer in “Training Day.” Her humor is on point, especially with the bit about security checking shoes but not buttholes.
Byron Brown: This was my favorite of the one-person acts, hands down. Brown’s act comes in three parts—though at the time, I didn’t realize this until it happened. Brown starts off as an amateur videographer who meets with a dude named Terry about getting into the video industry and making werewolf movies. Then, he takes on the persona of Ronnie who’s at a job interview and all goes well and he’s “ready to work.” Third part is when Brown brings both the videographer and Ronnie together as roommates. But Ronnie freaks out about his new job and his roommate films it all (of course). The roommate takes the footage to Terry. My attempt to explain this does absolutely no justice to Brown’s performance. But seriously, it was f*cking fantastic.
Molly Moore: Moore performed as a 4-month-old who struggles with saying “windmill” and competes with her best friend Gwendolyn. “I was so jealous–I bit her!”
Martin Urbano: Last but not least, Urbano performed as the “Mexican Steve Martin,” making fun of Steve Martin movies (but of course) and taffy.
To purchase tickets for the rest of the week’s shows, see ATX Sketch Fest’s official website. Be sure to follow us on Snapchat @shuffleonline for live coverage.