Review: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sweater (Second City)

Second City Brings Christmas Show to the Toronto Stage

Second City strikes again with it’s raging Christmas show, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Sweater. I remember seeing a sketch show at Second City about 5 years ago when I first moved to Toronto. It was like an initiation into the city. It was fresh, hilarious and chock full of all the Canadian pop culture references I could handle. The comedy mecca’s current Christmas-y instalment is everything you would expect from a Second City show…and dare I say…and then some?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater brings Christmas to life in a fast-paced, brawling revue covering everything from Christmas shopping to New Year’s Resolutions.

The cast is made up of some of the most talented performers our city has to offer. I especially appreciated Jillian Welsh’s physical humour. That temper tantrum she threw as a cranky 5-year-old in a mall at Christmas time was one for the comedic history books. I’ll also single out Clare McConnell, who’s got some serious spunk! Every character she plays seems to be larger than life.

The energy is high all the way through, with every sketch being more funny and original than the last. The writing is highly creative with some especially bizarre twists, like a carolling line-up of “orphaned Christmas trees” and a serial killer “Elf on a Shelf.” Each sketch is like a present, wrapped in a perfect punchline bow.

I found the humour to be accessible to a wide audience, which is something that Second City always seems to get right. Let’s just say that if you’re an adult between the ages of 18 and 101 who engages with the world… chances are you’ll find it funny.

The best part of the show was definitely the improvised scene between Josh Murray, Natalie Metcalfe and two random audience members, Gloria and “OJ”…if that IS his real name…(inside joke, you had to be there). Murray and Metcalfe handled the scene like total pros, creating a hilarious sketch from whatever kooky ad-libs that came out of Gloria and “OJ’s” mouths. It was thrilling to watch!

I’m known to be a bit Scrooge-y when it comes to Christmas, but The Good The Bad And The Ugly Sweater really got me in the spirit! If you’re looking for a fun night out before the stress of the holidays really hits, I promise you, this show will not disappoint!


Photo of Phatt Al, Jillian Welsh, Josh Murray, Natalie Metcalfe, Clare McConnell, Sharjil Rasool provided by the company. Please note that Sarjil Rasool has been replaced by Christian Smith in the show proper.