Do you like sketch comedy? Go see Good Game in “GUNG HO!”, a compilation of sketches created and crafted by Toronto-based sketch comedy group Good Game. Featuring such hits as: “If God made it, man can juice it” and “The V-Neck Song”, this trio of comedians attack each sketch with a weird and specific energy that had me smiling from start to finish (with some mild “what is happening” blank stares interspersed throughout).
Sketch comedy not your bag? Don’t count these guys out yet. Do you like to laugh? Of course you do! Even if you don’t (who are you?), Good Game’s relentless enthusiasm carries each sketch to its often hilariously baffling conclusion. And they don’t just “sketch” – they sing, they dance, they flail with reckless abandon. But don’t let those loose descriptors deceive you – there is a specificity behind their ideas which drives each sketch home. Sometimes, said idea is front and center (the “Rutabaga” sketch is literally a sketch about a rutabaga, and it works), but many a sketch hides the central premise behind sharp characterizations and clever, quippy dialogue before coming in for a strong and satisfying finish (a sketch i’ll refer to as “The Mechanic” is similarly just absurd enough to work).
Having worked, written, and performed together for a decade, there’s a palpable chemistry between the guys behind the Good Game name. What’s nice is how they settle into roles (the straight-man, the energetic one, the doof) and just as comfortably pass between them. Nick Chenosky (the one with the hair) introduces most of the sketches with a slightly off kilter (read: insane) energy that anchors the absurdity of whatever world these performers are about to create, but can just as easily slip into those worlds as an innocent bystander. David Horn (the one with the ‘stache) ambles into each sketch with a lackadaisical demeanour that belies his specific character work. And Craig Scorn (the one with the beard) enlivened the whole show with a dead-eyed deadpan that had me chortling endlessly. Honestly. He looked so dumb, and it takes a smart performer to pull that off.
It helps that the group keeps the pace quick and light throughout the entire show. Sketches are punctuated by dramatic lighting shifts and audio remixes of their vocals from the just-performed sketch, serving as both fun little cherries on top of their comedic cakes and pithy catchphrases for their fans (provided without context: “But you’re a mannequin!”). Make no mistake – this is a bare bones show. But what the show lacks in costuming or scenic extravagance the performers make up for with gumption and an unwavering dedication to “the bit”.
If sketch comedy isn’t for everybody, the guys at Good Game make a habit of charming the crowd into a laugh. Indeed, the technical difficulties at the end of their show were played off by each performer with a bemused sincerity that left the crowd smiling. Featuring a hefty grab bag of sketches that run just under an hour, there’s something to please everyone. Does the concept of a Boneless Arms Fight Club make you titter like a little bird? Flap your little wings over to see the show!
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor Andrew Sawyer
Good Game presents “Good Game in ‘GUNG HO!’”
When: June 8 – 17, 2017
Where: Petit Campus, 57 Prince-Arthur E., H2X 1B4
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)
Official Media Partner of the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival