The Austin Sketch Fest producer team picks some of our favorite sketches of the year. It might not surprise you that some of them are from the 2014 Festival.
Courtney Hopkin – Marketing, Productions & Operations for ASF, performer with Your Terrific Neighbors
Saturday Night Live, “Wing”
It’s hard to do bad acting well. That sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. And Kyle Mooney could teach a master class in it. One of the things I like about Mooney and Bennett, like the Lonely Island guys before them, they’re able to distill a trope down to the pinpoint of what makes it so awful that it’s hilarious. This alternate-reality 90s sitcom is pure in its absurdity.
Key & Peele, “Aerobics Meltdown”
I watched this show on a Friday. I thought about it all weekend. The music just playing over and over. Sometimes I thought about how I would have ended the sketch. Sometimes I thought about the thought process that lead to the sketch. Sometimes I just thought about their aerobics faces. But whatever reason, I keep thinking about it. Keep Dancing.
Sam Malcolm – Business & Financial for ASF, performer with STAG Comedy
Stone Cold Fox, “Kevin’s Garage”
I first saw this when reviewing submissions for last year’s fest, and it blew me away. Brandon Scott Jones’ performance is great, and I love how he isn’t interrupted by a ‘straight man’ or other sketch device. They just let him go. It’s a delight.
Will Cleveland – Productions & Operations for ASF, Programming Director for ColdTowne TV
Rachel Bloom & the cast of Quick and Funny Musicals, “Sugar Ray: The Jukebox Musical”
I’m a big fan of Rachel Bloom. Ever so often there are sketches I love so much that I say, “I wish I had thought of that.” This is one of those. Plus the singing is great.
Mac Blake – Marketing for ASF, Performer with STAG Comedy
My Mans, “Burger Basketball”
Picking my favorite live sketch was super tough. There was so much good stuff at ASF last year, but the show I keep thinking about is Mark Raterman and Tim Robinson’s My Mans show. “Burger Basketball” is not the name of a particular sketch – just a moment in the show. Mark was playing both the customer and Manager at an airport burger place. Tim was the guy behind the counter. As Mark would jump across stage to play both characters, Tim started getting in his way – intentionally derailing the sketch. It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever seen on stage. At some point burgers were thrown and again the sketch’s “story” paused so Mark and Tim could take turns shooting burgers into a garbage can. Their show was a constant answer to “what’s the funniest thing we could do right now.”
Key & Peele, “Aerobics Meltdown”
Key & Peel do three things really well. They’re hilarious, whoever makes their wigs is a goddmaned genius, and they are pitch perfect when it comes to copying the look and feel of the genres they parody. So funny, legitimately suspenseful, and it looked great. Plus solid wigs.
Courtney Sevener – Hospitality, Marketing for ASF, Performer with The Hustle Show
Girls with Brown Hair, “Two Chefs One Eye”
Girls with Brown Hair from NYC absolutely blew me away at Austin Sketch Fest 2014. I am still enamored with their live performance of “Two Chefs One Eye” – they did a video version of it as well (below). This sketch reminds me that comedy can literally be about anything, even a concept that is super simple in its hilariousness. It’s all in how you sell it, and they sell it. A heavy metal theme song and 3 eye patches between the two of them while fumbling around with sharp kitchen tools – what’s not to love? Girls with Brown Hair are inspiring.
Lance Gilstrap – Artistic Director for ASF, Performer with STAG Comedy
“Too Many Cooks”
Too Many Cooks is a pretty non-traditional sketch, but works in so many different ways. Right as you think it has worn its welcome, it finds a new way to surprise you. It turns into a worm that crawls around inside your brain.
Michael Jastroch – Executive Director for ASF, Performer with Jonestroch
“For Profit University”
Most people will say Too Many Cooks, and they’ll be right. But pound for pound this Adult Swim Infomercial has everything I love: bizarre world building, strange payoffs, corporate double speak, the works!
What’s YOUR favorite sketch of 2014, internet reader?