Who doesn’t enjoy a laugh at the expense of pop culture? The UC Follies Sketch Comedy Troupe provided exactly that at their sold-out show “Will a White Person Win an Oscar?” on January 30. The night was complete with stand-up comedy, sketch routines, and collective laughter as the U of T undergrad sketch troupe satirized attitudes in contemporary Western society.
The UC Follies Sketch Troupe is a branch of the UC Follies, a student theatre company at U of T’s University College. UC Follies offers aspiring dramatists the opportunity to learn and develop skills in a hands-on community. The Sketch Troupe is a circle of U of T undergrads passionate about comedy and the performing arts.
The show included stand-up acts and sketch comedy routines from Lucas Loizou, Kelly De Hoop, Celeste Yim, Jemima Hamilton, John Richardson, Christopher Chiasson, Haley Wiseman, Vincent Yung, and Luca Bellisario.
This sketch was a parody on the Oscars controversy, which centres on the belief that awards are primarily given to white candidates, specifically males. Although Hollywood consists predominantly of white actors and actresses, those in opposition to the 88th Academy Awards view the ceremony as corrupt and unfair to black actors working in the industry.
Despite the title of the show, “Will a White Person Win an Oscar?”, the troupe’s performances extended beyond the Oscars. Throughout the show, subjects of comedy included the stigma surrounding “pre-drinking”, hookups, veganism, clubbing, religion, and, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio’s inability to win an Oscar.
Essentially, this comedy show was an opportunity to bring to light all the aspects of popular culture that have grown trite, or were never really that well liked to begin with. The sketch routine on the Oscars, for instance, was a comedic reflection on just how ridiculously sensitive society is becoming.
The sketch began with two Asian women each winning an Oscar award, only to be dragged off stage and replaced with two white women who accepted the awards on their behalf. In the final sequence of the sketch, the white women were pulled off stage and replaced with two white men, accepting the Oscar awards under the names of the first two women.
The mockery in the troupe’s routine was a refreshing take on the controversy, which, among other things, raises questions about the definition of racism and whether or not it exists today.
It was a relief watching the sketch troupe laugh off serious subjects. In an age where everything is taken too seriously, it’s comforting to know that comedy groups like UC Follies can appreciate the humorous side of life.
The evening’s performances weren’t all critical, however. Some of the more lighthearted acts included Richardon’s hilarious stand-up routine, in which he reminisced about his youth as an overweight bully and the intensity of spin classes.
Yim was also a lively addition to the night. In her sketch acts, Yim’s vibrancy, dance moves, and witty stage presence definitely won the crowd.
All in all, the Follies Sketch Troupe offered an evening of quirky comedy routines that appeased the audience’s dark sense of humour.