Apr 25, 2010

[TV] The Big Gay Sketch Show: Season 2

The Big Gay Sketch Show: Season 2I've always been a fan of sketch comedy shows ever since my father introduced me to shows like Saturday Night Live and Monty Python as a kid. There's something about the controlled insanity of a comedy sketch that just makes it work for me - the jokes have to be somewhat tighter and the scene still needs to maintain some sort of a rising and falling action centered around the punchline. You know what I mean right?

Of course in recent years a lot of sketch comedy shows have gone the way of more shallow toilet humor, resorting the highly repetitive and inane sequences instead of focusing on creating new and interesting characters. Before we had the likes of the Blues Brothers, the Cone Heads and the Church Lady as interesting characters. Now we get weird redundant sketches like "What Up With That?" Seriously, this is comedy today?

So it was a surprise when my partner dug up a copy of this lesser-known sketch comedy show that tried to add a pink flavor to the genre with its own diverse set of crazy characters and unusual situations.

O'Donnell at the premiere of I Am Because We A...Image via Wikipedia

The Big Gay Sketch Show is an LGBT-themed comedy sketch show produced by highly vocal LGBT advocate and comedian Rosie O'Donnell. The show is hosted by LGBT channel Logo and is currently just starting its second season. This second season of the show took things to another level and blessed the world with an amazingly funny set of characters the likes of which we haven't seen for a while on other mainstream comedy shows.

There are a lot of good recurring sketches to watch out for in this season and allow me to go over a few of them rather quickly:

Fitzwilliam (Kate McKinnon) - a young boy who'd give anything to get the best present for a little boy in the whole wide world - a VAGINA!
Naldo (Paulo Andino) - a Latin American worker who just happens to lift packages and other heavy objects in a highly sexual manner.
Maya Angelou (Colman Domingo) - yes, this is an impersonation of the famous writer, except here she's reading sexually-explicit personal ads aloud from Craigslist.
Elaine Stritch (Nicol Paone) - another impersonation, this time of the famous Company Broadway star but this time in a variety of unusual jobs like airport security or working at the mall.

I'd love to go into more detail in terms of these sketches any many others, but that would be spoiling.

Sure, it's not necessarily the most thought-provoking show out there nor does it necessarily present LGBT characters in a positive light. But at the same time, the show just puts out there the notion that we're not afraid to laugh at ourselves as a community and that we should be right up there with everyone else in the world - a prime target for comedic portrayal.

I liked the fact that the style of the show goes back to how sketch shows really started - with insane characters, a lot of method acting and not too many gimmicks (at least not without a character supporting it). Plus the whole LGBT angle to things isn't as big as a "distraction" as many viewers might think. Sure, many of the characters tend to be gay or the sketches involve potentially LGBT-related situations but it doesn't meant they don't have straight characters or sequences either. In the end, it's a great comedy show, period. It just happen to involve gay actors being out and proud and right there in the forefront of things.

The episodes only run for about 30 minutes each (with commercials that is) and there were only 8 episodes in this season (an upgrade from last season's paltry 6) so you'll find yourselves getting through the series fairly quickly if you watch it in one go. Their third season has just started airing this month and so that should be worth another go-see if you find yourselves liking this run.

The second season of the Big Gay Sketch Show is a light, fun, campy comedic exploration of the sketch show concept and it deserves 3.5 practically sexual sounds and comments from Naldo out of 5.

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