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BWW Review: I BE LIKE... at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre

BWW Review: I BE LIKE... at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre

I teach high school drama, which means I teach improvisation to teenagers, which means the first scene my kids perform each semester invariably goes something like:

"I have a pineapple!"

"No you don't!"

So we go over the rules of improv, we practise saying "Yes, and", we play games. And by the end of the unit, I proudly watch as my students perform something like:

"I have a pineapple!"

"Yes, and here is another pineapple!"

That's the problem (a problem) with improv in particular, and sketch comedy more broadly: nothing is about anything. Even on polished platforms like Saturday Night Live, even in their edgier political pieces, a scene is just a series of jokes leading up to one last joke. Alec Baldwin's wig has more substance than anything in the script.

Cut to Uber and Klonk, the stage names of comedy duo Carley Thorne and Meredith Mullen, whose latest sketch show, I BE LIKE.... just closed its much-too-short run at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre. I have to be careful here, because Thorne and Mullen aren't especially political, they don't have a hot take. But they have a voice, a viciously young voice, an enlightened, lazy voice.

Their sketches feel about something important, even when they're about psychic annilungus predictions or or Tobey Maguire's stint in The Beatles. That's because in most of their sketches their characters struggle with the same conflict: hypocrisy.

In the opening sketch, a young woman is horrified to learn that her best friend is trying to set her up with an incel. He's a misogynist, quite possibly violent - and 6'3". Set it up! In another sketch, two friends bump into each other outside Chick-Fil-A. They both insist they weren't going in for the food - no, it was to protest. But the nuggets...

If you feel personally attacked, then good, because that's literally everyone in North America under 35. We are hungry for change but obsessive over self-care, compassionate until it gets inconvenient. We think the world is going to hell but we won't do anything about it; we have impulsive ideas and won't be - can't be - told that they're bad.

Thorne and Mullen have a natural stage chemistry, an easy back-and-forth that lets them bounce dialogue and jokes off each other like a game of table tennis. They are joined in I BE LIKE.... by Gavin Pounds, who opens the show with a stellar bit of inspirational comedy, and is a welcome addition to each scene he is in.

I BE LIKE... is broken up by a couple of short, clever videos that make absolutely clear, if you hadn't noticed already, that this isn't boomer comedy. Thorne, Mullen, and Pounds are not just bright, they're precocious, and closer in age to my students than to me (yikes). Their voices are clear, their jokes are good, and their future looks very, very bright.

Uber and Klonk's I BE LIKE... continues to tour North America. Information about future shows can be found on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Photo credit: Craig Scorgie

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From This Author Louis Train