Dallas Comedy Festival 2018: Top Sketch Acts

The first time I ever saw live sketch comedy was about three years ago at Austin Sketch Fest. I fell in love with it then, and coming to Dallas Comedy Festival (DCF) for the first time last weekend, I remembered again why I love sketch so much and I have found new favorite sketch comedy groups to follow on social media. Yeah, I’m gonna fan-girl right now.

I was able to attend DCF the last three nights of the event, and I compiled my top three favorite sketch acts, from the shows I was able to attend as press.

Marv n’ Berry

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Marv n’ Berry performing on the Pixel & Texel Stage / Credit: Dallas Comedy Festival
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Marv n’ Berry performing on the Pixel & Texel Stage / Credit: Dallas Comedy Festival

The Canadian sketch comedy troupe Marv ‘n Berry was an absolute hoot! They kicked off their performance with an act poking fun at common grammar mistakes. “YOUR WELCOME” was written on a white board and we see a dialogue between a student (portrayed by Chris Borger) and his teacher (portrayed by Nikki Hulowski) and confusion ensues.

Teacher: “I’m giving you a welcome–your welcome.”

Student: “I don’t want it.” *insert LMAO emoji here*

The subsequent sketches just got funnier and funnier after that. One of my favorite sketches was of the DJ competition between Luke DJ Skywalker (portrayed by Mike Robertson) and weird techno, horny AF lady DJ Rosamanda (Nikki). The troupe ended their performance with a bit about a couple named Deb and Gary (Nikki and Chris) who go see a therapist (Mike) because they never fought and wanted to create conflict. Every time the good doctor tried to open up unresolved issues for the couple, they just ended with their tongues down each other’s throats. It was a weird combination of beautiful and a cute kind of disgusting and I loved every minute of it.

Hot Pot Comedy

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Hot Pot Comedy starts off asking for a volunteer to come to the stage for its game show sketch. / Credit: Dallas Comedy Festival
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Hot Pot Comedy had an ongoing sketch mocking a grown-up Matilda who is constantly looking for someone to adopt her. / Credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

When I found out that there was an all-Asian American sketch group from Austin, I knew I HAD to come see this show. And boy, Hot Pot Comedy DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

The opening act was a game show where one volunteer–a kind woman named Liz–was blindfolded and listened to three contestants speak in their native language (there were subtitles presented via video) sexy things to her ear and she had to choose who she thought sounded the sexiest. The auditory performance was hot with a sizzle.

The next act was clever and addressed a common issue Asian men come across: they’re always stereotypically described as short, with black hair and brown eyes, and “hella Asian.” A white guy character Jacob Welles is robbed and a sketch artist Lars Skarsgard (who is the Asian character here) tries to draw the perp, based on the stereotypical descriptions of Asian men.

There was an ongoing sketch with a grown-up Matilda looking for anyone to adopt her–solid. My favorite was when Matilda had a one-night-stand and tried to convince the guy, who was about to leave, to adopt her. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier! Oh, Matilda…

Last, the group ended with another game show sketch, “North Korea’s Got Talent.” Two contestants–a comedian who used to be ranked third but was now ranked first (after the first two comedians were executed) and president Kim Jong Un–perform an act. Kim Jong Un does a dance for an energy drink–LOL–and orders contestant #1 to be shot, so he is named the winner. Yeah, sounds about right.

’90s Mixtape

The ’90s was my jam. Hell, I still listen to Carlos Santana’s “Smooth” EVERYDAY in my car, from my old “Friends” burnt CD. Yes, I am not joking here. But I digress. I came across the ’90s Mixtape sketch comedy troupe by chance, because another show I had originally planned to attend was sold out. But like all good ’90s rom coms, I stumbled across something that made me fall head over heels and it hasn’t left my mind (or heart). Cheesy love letter, I know. Can’t blame a girl for trying.

The ’90s Mixtape did what you’d expect–make you feel hella nostalgic for Tamagotchis and Power Rangers. One of my favorite sketches was of the wedding reception where the groom had booked Celene Dion to sing for his bride but it turned out that he had actually booked Dion Celene, who ONLY sang the best lines of songs. And last but not least… the tortilla bit. Three of the troupe members dressed up as old Spanish-speaking ladies and are flipping through tortillas and commenting on who they saw drawn on the tortilla. This all built up to the final tortilla, which had the face of SELENA!!! My words do no justice here. If I could telepathically transfer my memory of these two sketches to you like Professor X and Jean Grey, I totally would.

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