You may find this difficult to believe but working at a student newspaper can be a grueling, difficult and brutish experience. It’s not just the cotton candy, sex and endless beer drinking that we sometimes make it out to be (you would be surprised how well cotton candy and beer go together; cotton candy and sex, not so much).
Much like life, a student newspaper is full of obstacles, disappointments and occasionally triumphs (but mostly disappointments). But there is never a time that this job is more inglorious than in the cruel, unrelenting month of November. Somehow, details go to the dogs. You slowly begin to lose focus and the lines between improv comedy and sketch comedy blur to the point where you spend a whole interview insisting that a certain local sketch comedy group does “improv.”
Which they don’t. Which they’ve never done.
This group is Skit Skit.
Made up of six University of Saskatchewan drama grads (they graduate?) Skit Skit does pre-written and rehearsed sketch comedy. They take comedy seriously folks, not like those willy-nilly improv types.
You university types might enjoy seeing their upcoming shows at the backstage of Persephone Theatre. The group recently gained some recognition for their video of Bruce. Q. Vegemite, an Australian representative weighing in on BHP Billiton’s attempted takeover of Potash Corp.
The Sheaf asked Skit Skit some ill-informed questions (please note: in each of the questions below, “sketch” comedy was originally “improv” comedy).
The Sheaf: How did the group come about?
Skit Skit: We all went through the U of S Drama Department at about the same time. The original members were all in Greystone Theatre’s production of CosÃ¬ together. We tended to make each other laugh, and were always saying, “That should be a skit.” Things evolved from there. We’ve been doing shows together since 2007.
Sheaf: What is the makeup of the group? What kind of people is it made up of?
Skit Skit: We’re all U of S drama grads — we all write, act and direct, and create and edit the film segments.
Sheaf: What sort of “mature” subject matter do you deal with?
Skit Skit: All of it. R-rated language, sexual content, pretty dark comedy — leave your grandma at home. Unless she’s cool. All of our grandmas are cool.
Sheaf: How does your upcoming show at Persephone differ from other sketch comedy?
Skit Skit: Well, for starters, we’re the only live sketch comedy troupe in Saskatoon. Secondly, we do a mix of live theatre sketches and video skits, which probably makes us closest to the experience of a live taping of SNL. Thirdly, we go the extra mile. We’re always pushing boundaries, exploding paradigms (all that marketing-y jazz), looking for ways to improve our work.
Finally, it’s a very diverse mix of material. We go from social satire to dark to experimental to just plain silly and back again in the space of a few minutes. We make stuff that makes us laugh, and we have six very different people in the troupe.
Sheaf: In three words, describe to the Sheaf readership why they should go see your show:
Skit Skit: Skit Skit = You! (Using “Skit” twice really ate up the word count.) Seriously, though, we’re all pretty recent grads, and we try to make stuff that would appeal to people in our generation. We ended a show with Keyboard Cat once — before it was cool. Actually, pretty much when it was cool. Regardless, the point still stands.
Sheaf: What can people expect from the show?
Skit Skit: Not laughter, that’s for sure. If you think that’s what we’re about, you’re dead wrong. Go watch your Two and a Half Men, you stinking plebs.
Sheaf: What is next for Bruce Q. Vegemite?
Skit Skit: We had actually planned more potash sketches, featuring “Tim Horton H. Ridergopher Beaverpoutine,” of PotashCorp. Then, you know, things got all complicated. Bruce may be making a brief guest appearance in these shows, though.
Skit Skit: What are some Internet websites everyone should check out? Facebook.com/SkitSkit, and youtube.com/SkitSkitTV. Glad you asked!
Sheaf: I didn’t. Damn.