Second City comedy good but repetitive

Grade: B-

What ended up being a nearly three-hour comedy routine could have been much shorter at the latest installment of the Late Nite at Ball State program.

Second City's comedy troupe had the audience constantly laughing Saturday night, but after about an hour, the performance took on a bit of redundancy, but not necessarily at the fault of the performers.

The comedy team put together several well-done and hilarious skits, but it seemed that many of them were based on the same themes and had the same jokes.

One particular funny skit was about two people in crime talking, one a man, one a woman. Both had on long coats and sunglasses, but never faced each other when speaking.

The skit started and ended the same, with terse, monotone and secretive dialogue.

"I want out, Jack," the woman said.

"Can't get out, Madison," Jack told her.

Jack then told Madison that he knew she had a connection to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and she denied it.

He asked her what she had for breakfast, and when Madison told him she had eaten eggs Benedict, he then proceeded to use a stream of phrases starting with "eggs Benedict" to lead eventually to "Italy, Mafia, Jimmy Hoffa."

"Was the connection really that obvious?" Madison asked, and the audience roared.

But the six-member group of three men and three women gave the audience their all and even allowed for suggestions from the crowd for improvisation skits.

Students clapped and yelled out any words that came to mind, most of them obnoxious, risque phrases or words dealing with pornography that resembled a typical day in junior high school.

When the comedians asked the audience for a verb to use in a skit involving political candidates, a group of loud male students yelled out "douche."

The idea of using dirty words and phrases to stump the performers was funny at first, but it became a nuisance, so much that looks of annoyance briefly flashed on the faces of the comedy troupe members. One even called the audience members sickos when they suggested "necrophilia."

And this continued the whole night.

Second City did three 45-minute sets with brief intermissions. The first two sets were mostly rehearsed skits with a few minutes of improvisation, but the last set was based entirely on audience suggestions.

This was the highlight of the night, and it showed just how funny these comedians could be on the spot.

One skit involved a story told through the eyes of well-known published authors such as Danielle Steele and Dr. Seuss. After the crowd chose a title for the story, which turned out to be "The Ninja," performers did some rather interesting and truthful impressions of not only the authors, but also the reflections of writing style.

This was a refreshing change from the repetitive dialogue and jokes that were used in the first two sets of comedy, and this should have been the main focus of the program if not the program itself.

There is no denying the talents that lie within the members of Second City, but their real talents and hilarity showed when they were not performing to a rehearsed script.


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