Volume 95, Issue 49

Wednesday, November 28, 2001
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Songstress Emm Gryner pours some sugar on fans

Black Knight defends movie with humour

Laugh nothing more than raunch

Disc of the Week

Bones one bad brotha'

Laugh nothing more than raunch

Laugh 2001

ensemble cast

Directed by: Danny Zilnik

Two stars (out of five)

By Megan O'Toole
Gazette Staff

A screen in front of the stage in Conron Hall proclaims "Just Be Offended: Laugh 2001."

Oliver Corea/Gazette

It's an appropriate introduction to the 16 sketches that follow, which invite audiences to lower their expectations of the Arts Students' Council annual comedy review.

Laugh 2001 boasts a random assortment of sexual humor and absurd skits. The show is an outright potty fest. The sketches vary from physical comedy to social satire and all pieces are written, performed and produced by Western students.

Director Danny Zilnik kicks off the show with a "director's apology" for the vulgarity of the skits to follow. Throughout his address, words such as "boobs" and "balls" flash across the screen behind him as part of a running visual commentary poking fun at his speech.

This is a typical example of the blatantly unapologetic toilet humor upon which Laugh is founded.

In the opening sketch, "Shakespeare," the actors fare as well as can be expected, allowing for the intolerable script. The tiresome piece features Jeff Warren's character repeatedly confusing Shakespearean terminology with sexual imagery. He mistakenly refers to Claudius as "clitoris" in an explicit appeal to the grade school demographic.

"LMNOP– The Early Tapes" tells the story of a pretentious, try-hard rapper whose claims of a ghettoized childhood are proven to be unsubstantiated. The characters, played by Hunter Somerville and Megan Quinlan, would likely be convincing if the script was not so glaringly self-conscious.

The sketches are interspersed with various auditory blunders that appear closer to pornography than they are to comedic entertainment. While adding to the show's multimedia premise, the audio components are difficult to follow acoustically and could be eliminated entirely without detracting from the overall concept of the production.

Despite the void left by ill-conceived scripting, there are moments of genuine humour in Laugh. Most notably, the "Newlywed Show," features Josh Landy as the host of a game show gone awry.

Aaron Tearnel's video, "The Evolution of Transportation: Specifications and Bureaucracies Live Forever," adds further comic relief. It's a cute, cunning look at our modern railroad system.

Laugh is touted as a silly and irreverent collection of playfully offensive skits. The show doesn't purport to incorporate clever subtlety, nor does it profess to deliver intelligent wit.

While throwing in foul language every five minutes may be a successful formula for Fox TV, it gets a bit tiring after a while and, along the way, incites few laughs.

Laugh 2001 appears at Conron Hall from Nov. 29 - Dec. 1. Tickets are $7 and the laughs begin at 7:30 p.m..

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Copyright The Gazette 2001