Review: O Dat Dum + Stupid Time Machine (Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival 2015)

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With 60 acts taking part in The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival 2015, there’s bound to be something to tickle your funny bone.

Representing the asinine and absurd side of things, O Dat Dum and Stupid Time Machine took to the stage Saturday night in front of a packed house of eager spectators at The Comedy Bar.

Two hilarious comedy troupes: one fantastic night of sketch comedy.

O Dat Dum

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What do you get when you mix members from some of Canada’s up-and-coming sketch comedy troupes? Assembled with members from Parker & Seville, Smells Like the 80s, The Reception, The Weaker Vessels and 2 Humans, O Dat Dum is a six-member ensemble whose performance makes you continuously ask yourself, “just how dumb is too dumb?”

If there’s one thing you gotta love about this troupe, it’s their commitment to every single skit. Whether it was their potato chip-based Game of Thrones parody or their depiction of a vegan Wendy’s mascot, these performers never broke character and took over the stage with an energy I can only describe as ‘infectious’.

The one thing about their set that I didn’t love, however, was their overuse of certain bits that, in my opinion, weren’t strong enough to merit an encore. For example, there one was character who was a celebrity armed with a broom whose tagline was ‘literally sweeping the nation’. It was a gag that garnered moderate chuckles the first time around, but by the third and fourth repetition, nobody was laughing. It was unfortunately this troupe’s readiness to recycle bits over and over that made the latter part of their stage time seem quite stale.

With just a little bit more self-editing, I believe their performance would have been much sharper and less redundant.

Stupid Time Machine

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Hailing from The Big Easy, New Orleans, Stupid Time Machine is a critically acclaimed troupe whose mandate is to “make the serious thing seem dumb, and the dumb things serious”. While only two of the troupe’s four-member cast performed at this year’s festival, their larger-than life stage presence was more than enough to fill the entire venue with uncontrollable bouts of laughter.

And don’t let the name of this troupe deceive you. The comedy stylings of CJ Hunt and James Hamilton were clever and on-point. Sure, most of the humour was silly and even childish at times– with randomness being their comedic weapon of choice – but their timing was sharp, their performance polished and their skits undeniably hilarious.

From their amazing Inception-esque ‘dream within a dream’ sequence to their gut-wrenchingly funny parody of a Broadway audition, this duo made fantastic use of every moment on stage – taking the audience on a comedic rollercoaster of absurd scenarios, one after another. There were no skits that fell flat, and no awkward lulls in the laughter.

If you have the chance to see Stupid Time Machine, either at this year’s festival or another venue, do it!  You won’t be disappointed.

While these two troupes won’t be sharing the stage again at this year’s TO Sketchfest, but you can still catch each ensemble giving it another go before this festival comes to a close on March 15th.


Photos courtesy of Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival website