In what’s quickly become a wonderful summer tradition, CBC marks the end of June with the returns of Still Standing and Baroness von Sketch Show. Look for my interview with Still Standing host Jonny Harris elsewhere on the site; this column is all about the funny ladies of Baroness von Sketch Show.
Returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC, the first season was a riotous romp through the minds of Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne, Jennifer Whalen and Meredith MacNeil and the crazy, kooky and creative characters and situations they came up with. The group won a well-deserved Canadian Screen Award earlier this year for Best Writing for a Variety or Sketch Comedy Series and they’ve returned to form in this sophomore season. (Check out my feature story on the ladies in Canadian Screenwriter Magazine.)
The troupe’s Mad Max-inspired bit has been posted on social media over the past few weeks and is the first sketch following Tuesday’s opening credits for the episode entitled “It Satisfies on a Very Basic Level.” Filmed on the shores of Lake Ontario, it’s a well-written, supremely acted segment showing a quartet of strong women in a post-apocalyptic world where all men have been killed so ladies may rule. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe, though the truth comes out. MacNeil, as in Season 1, grabs laughs not just with her delivery and facial expressions but her entire body. A sky-high orange mohawk and fur cape complete her ludicrous look.
Browne nabs a serious laugh in the next skit regarding showing ID when shopping for a certain item, a brief history lesson on menstruation is given next, followed by an uncomfortable situation that arises when someone forgets not to ask about one woman’s ex.
Unlike Saturday Night Live, where sketches often go on way too long on expired laughs, Baroness Von Sketch Show is tight, quick and to the point. The Season 2 writing room contained—in addition to Taylor, MacNeil, Whalen and Browne— award-winning author and poet Zoe Whittall (The Best Kind of People), author Monica Heisey (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better: A Woman’s Guide to Coping with Life), Jennifer Goodhue (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), standups Mae Martin, Elvira Kurt and Dawn Whitwell, Ann Pornel and Alex Tindal (The Sketchersons), playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Ify Chiwetelu, artist and writer Mariko Tamaki, Evany Rosen and Nelu Handa. The result? A summer of continuous laughs.
Baroness von Sketch Show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Images courtesy of CBC.
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