Each year the Austin Sketch Fest producer team sits downs and thinks back on all the things they regret from the past year, then to make themselves feel better, they think back on their favorite sketches from the past year.
These are those sketches.
BLACK JEOPARDY (SNL)
Such an easy premise. A familiar context. Basic game structure... and a connection that seems so obvious once it's shown to you, but no one saw that link between the lifestyle tastes and the core mistrusts of the Establishment and "established truths" that African Americans and pro-Trump voters shared until, writer Michael Che points it out to us in this instant classic. Almost overshadowed by David S. Pumpkins that same week, this sketch hit home politically and socially in a way I haven't felt in a long time from comedy. I could not stop watching it over and over and over and over. Keenan just hits everything so perfectly in this... driving and heightening with proficiency. And that handshake....
CONNER O'MALLEY'S MARK SEEVERS
This is not so much a single sketch but the perfect pairing of performer and circumstance. Nothing Conner O'Malley does is subtle (see his Vines (RIP Vine)), so when I first saw that he was doing remote pieces for LNSM based around Trump, I knew that it is going to be good. O'Malley becomes the Trump supporter we all hate with what he says but does it in such a way that we still relate to him, and sometimes feel bad for him, but hate him and the people he is talking to at the same time. His character choices are endless and the backstory is insane. Check out more of Mark Seevers work at TurthHunters.com (it's not a real site, don't go there). But visit Conner's YouTube Page and check out more of his work.
I'm taking a few liberties with my favorite sketch. It's not so much a sketch rather than an added character to South Park Season 20 - Member Berries
Nostalgia is a weird thing. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But how healthy is it to dwell too much in the past? It's created a Hollywood model that won't take a risk on anything original, created a generation of full grown children (*raises hand), and has even influenced the future of our democracy! Member Reagan? Member 9/11? Member Bill Clinton? SMDH.
I don't even know if this is good.
This sketch was great because I think it really took the absurdities of what would happen if we lived in our own self created echo chamber and played it out. One of my favorite things about this sketch was how much focus they put in the details, for example, putting Bernie Sanders on the dollar bill in this new world was a nice touch, as well as my favorite line "We don't see color here, but we celebrate it" and seeing Sasheer's reaction to that summed up my feelings exactly. Overall, I loved how uncomfortably honest it was, as well as it being kind of so embarrassingly relatable.
THE GUN STORE
I loved the characters! Netflix took a chance giving eight sketch comedians a half hour episode to each do with as they will. I loved the premise and this episode stood out as some of the funniest sketch material I saw all year. In this, ATX Sketchfest Alum Tim Robinson is shopping for a gun for "self protection" against the most implausible enemies who all have it out for him and his bathroom behavior. It's weird, smart, and ends on a huge laugh when we see the man in the Captain's hat. This scene had me rolling on the floor on the first time I saw it. The entire Tim Robinson episode is a master class in efficient sketch writing but this scene was so memorable to because of its use of the phrase "paintjob" A+.
Watch Tim Robinson's episode here.
The 2017 Austin Sketch Fest will take place from May 22nd - May 28th. Submissions are now open! Submit Here!