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Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Wrap-up

November 8th to 13th the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival is taking over venues across the city. Every day we’ll post our top few picks so you don’t have to work too hard to find that perfect show. For the full TSCF schedule, check out their website.

THE SKETCHERSONSComedy Bar 9pm

Another TOsketchfest has come and almost gone. For a week, the whole city was worked up into a non-existent fervour. The excitement was unpalpable. What better way to cap it all off than in the comforting arms of a regularly scheduled performance starring the usual cast of familiar characters.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t go to a single TSCF performance. Perhaps I failed to perform my journalistic duties, but I just couldn’t get excited enough by any of the shows to make them part of schedule this week. It’s safe to say that I was not alone: the dearth of enthusiasm was evident in the complete lack of coverage by most local media outlets. When the highest profile press you get for a week-long event is a single post on BlogTO or a single interview on AVClub Toronto with Scott Thompson that focuses on fruit, you can’t be surprised if Joe Public ain’t shouting about the fest from the rooftops where we all keep our water coolers these days.

Like I said, I didn’t go this year, so I have no clue if the shows were packed or not. And again, in terms of my journalistic obligations, my designation as “blogger” stipulates I do as little research as possible. A brief glance at the TOsketchfest Twitter feed suggests at least some of the higher profile shows were full. But the lack of online chatter suggests that the crowds that do show up consist of friends and fans that are already tuned in. One of the goals of these fests is (or should be) to generate some buzz for newer acts and help audiences discover who the next generation of stars might be. It’s never going to be NXNE, but I wonder what could be done to crank up the excitement factor a bit.

Festival organizers deserve kudos for a couple great moves this year. They secured some heavy Canadian talent as headliners. Picnicface, This is That and Two Kids One Hall (featuring Scott Thompson and Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall) are all perfect fits for the festival and should have been big draws for audience eyeballs. TSCF also greatly improved their web presence with an great new website. One hopes that these festival building blocks will be considered the bare minimum in the years to come.

If the TSCF wants to compete with bigger sketch comedy festivals like San Francisco then there a couple suggestions I’d like to make from my computer chair:

Swallow Our Pride and Bring In Some Bigger Stars: As I mentioned, 2011’s headliners are premiere Canadian talent that deserve top billing. But the reality is that your average Canadian entertainment consumers are only vaguely familiar with these acts. And, excluding two fifths of KITH, their international pedigree is minor to non-existent. By mixing in some big (read: American) names alongside these Canadian gems, organizers could raise the profile of the fest and make our top acts look as strong as they are by standing them alongside more established stars. I’m thinking former SNL cast members, the Upright Citizens Brigade, comedians with Comedy Central shows, etc.

Stronger International Presence: Headliners are one thing, but the weight of the fest is held up by the below the radar talent. Scrolling through the list of troupes on offer each year, they are overwhelmingly local. While it’s important to showcase Toronto’s talented comedians, featuring such a high percentage of acts from the local scene only further insulates an already cliquey community. Bringing in more outside talent will give those local acts who are included a chance to make better connections to the broader comedy world at large. No matter what you’ve got at your party, it won’t be great unless you invite people to join in.

All Access Wristband: This year TOsketchfest offered an uninspiring deal on tickets: $40 for 4 shows. If you really want to hook comedy loving audience members for the whole week and not just the shows they know, give them a chance to indulge themselves. For $75, an all access pass would give superfans a reason to geek out and take a chance on the less-than-sure bets. This would truly make it a festival and not just a series of shows.

Now, these things are all easier said than done and I’m sure festival organizers have discussed if not even fought for these improvements. So let’s hope they can pull some of them off and convince me and everyone else not to skip the fest next year.

UPDATE: Wow that’s a lot of response. Read some of my comments about your comments here.

Also I removed the picture at someone’s request. I didn’t get permission. Fair enough.

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About Mikey Kolberg

I'm a comedian and a university graduate who couldn't find a job so I started a blog.

Discussion

61 thoughts on “Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Wrap-up

  1. Wow Mikey, I just finished reading your “review”, and I couldn’t disagree with you more. You admit to not attending any of the festival, but you feel pretty comfortable casting a fair amount of judgement on it. I’m not even sure from your snark-filled article what you actually wanted from the festival. You complain that none of the major Toronto media outlets covered it, but then admit that you did nothing to cover it yourself. You complain that the festival organizers didn’t pull in enough international telent, while ignoring several of the American troupes that were in the festival – Kerpatty, Ninja Sex Party, and Charles to name a few.

    See, if you ask me, it’s comedy “journalism” like your’s that is the problem in this city. You can’t get excited about any local performance unless there’s a big name, out of town (read: American) celebrity involved. Therefore any local talent is a non-starter for you, not even worth wasting your time covering. It’s this kind of self-defeating rhetoric that ensures that local and Canadian talent goes ignored, and that the only comedy that gets covered in Toronto is American celebrities who hardly need the extra press.

    Lastly, seriously, if you don’t attend a festival or show, keep your opinions to yourself. I imagine you think you’re being edgy and cute in your article above, but it comes across as juvenile and embarrassing.

    “I’ll be honest: I didn’t go to a single TSCF performance. Perhaps I failed to perform my journalistic duties, but I just couldn’t get excited enough by any of the shows to make them part of schedule this week.” Yes, you did fail to perform your journalistic duties. If you didn’t attend a single show in the festival, you should take that as a sign and keep your opinions to yourself. I imagine you think you’re being edgy and cute in your article above, but it comes across as juvenile and embarrassing.

    Seriously, next year get involved or keep your armchair opinions to yourself. The real comedians are out there in Toronto actually trying to accomplish something.

    Posted by Ian MacIntyre | November 19, 2011, 10:38 pm
  2. Ian’s right on the money. This article is a total joke and one wonders why you would consider it worth anyone’s time that your wrote it. You’re opinions of the festival are totally unfounded for the reason YOU laid out – you didn’t bother to get off your ass and see ANY of it. Either go to some shows and write some reviews or say nothing at all – you have no business or basis to form an opinion on a festival you chose not to experience.

    If you had gone to the festival you would have learned the following: 1. Toronto is filled with sketch comedy talent deserving of your attention (yes, even YOU); 2. The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival has turned into an excellent festival that has gotten better each year; 3. Despite your impression that no one was at these shows (did you think they were hanging out with you?) the festival doubled its ticket sales from last year, many shows were sold out, and all of them were well attended; and 4. Despite your impression that the media did not cover the festival there were previews and profiles in the National Post, Now Magazine, and The Star and OVER HALF of the tickets sold this year were from outside of Toronto.

    The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival can’t become JFL overnight, but it is thriving with each year as the quality of the comedy increases. If you were under the impression that the talent in the festival wasn’t deserving of your time, the least you could have done was come down and give it a chance to prove you wrong. Maybe you would have been emboldened to write about the more surprising acts and your readers would have checked out their next show. Or maybe you would have left with the same opinions you formed on your own anyway. But hey, we’ll never know.

    I would’ve hoped better for a blog with this title though.

    Posted by Nedders | November 19, 2011, 11:10 pm
  3. I agree with Ian. I went to several shows this year, and they were all packed. Even when I just dropped into the Comedy Bar for a pint, it was overflowing with people; people who are not normally there. And yes, I spend enough time at The Comedy Bar to recognize when people aren’t regulars.

    There’s great comedy in Canada, and if you can’t see that, well that’s your problem.
    You absolutely failed in your journalistic duties. On the plus side, now we all know to never take your opinion seriously.

    Posted by Gillian English | November 19, 2011, 11:12 pm
  4. What’s the matter, the Raisin Gang get turned down for sketch fest? I’ve seen your sketch, buddy, and you’re the last guy who should be throwing stones.

    Pull up your pants, your ignorance is showing.

    D.

    Posted by darryl pring | November 19, 2011, 11:43 pm
  5. It’s a real shame you didn’t attend any of the shows. There were several excellent shows in the festival this year. I can see that instead of attending any of these shows you decided to judge them from your side of the computer screen, faceless and safe. Imagine what good could have been accomplished from an article that celebrated the good instead of needlessly shitting on the festival! Perhaps some of the big names who might consider coming to Sketch Fest next year will be dissuaded by GOOGLING THE FEST AND FINDING THIS! You create the problems you want to fix! Hey, at least I’ve read this blog for the first and last time, so way to go. The best way to get people to come out to the shows next year may be for you to keep your opinions to yourself, or at least off the internet. That way no one will mistake a negative, unsupportive post like this for a review.

    Posted by Nug Nahrgang | November 20, 2011, 12:18 am
  6. Why write a post about something that you didn’t even watch?

    Sure, I wrote a book report on “A Brave New World” in Grade 9 without reading the book, but that’s because I was a piece of shit in junior high… and I failed!

    Last I heard, the Kids in the Hall were a big deal…

    Posted by Megan fraser | November 20, 2011, 3:02 am
  7. I honestly recommend you remove this post. Without trying to be too severe, this is not journalism because it makes absolutely no useful or informed point.

    In your assumptions that the organizers of this event likely recognize the problems you outlined but still haven’t managed to overcome them, you eradicate any need for your article to exist. You are, figuratively speaking, shedding light on an area where there is already light.

    Plus – this has been beaten to death already, but its impossible to ignore – you did not attend. You. did. not. attend. Please ask yourself why you feel this article needs to exist. Do you truly believe that the organizers are not doing their absolute best to better the festival each year? I don’t even get the sense you feel that way from the article. You just seem to shit on the fact that it has not reached its potential yet. Do you think that TO Sketchfest will bear down and try harder because you wrote this and smeared its name? Who benefits here, and why?

    I don’t know everything ( or anything ) about you, but I feel confident that the only reason you wouldn’t renege on an ill conceived “statement” like this is stubbornness. Its flat out bad. It is impossible to responsibly write an article on something you did not look into. No amount of empty swipes at cleverness can produce something worth while.

    Posted by Adam Niebergall | November 20, 2011, 3:03 am
  8. Pick a photo from a show that was actually involved in the festival. Bret Hart hosted Sunday Night Live a month before.

    Posted by James VanDerbeek | November 20, 2011, 3:06 am
  9. This might be the snarkiest, most pointless thing I’ve ever read in my life. I feel no ethical qualms about calling “Mikey Kolberg” a big dummy. You, sir, are a big dummy. The absolute dummiest.

    Posted by Klaus Schuller | November 20, 2011, 9:30 am
    • Yeah, this comment was pretty rude. Sorry. But your column was insulting to some very dedicated, passionate and hardworking people who put together and perform in the Toronto Sketchfest. Particularly, it’s pretty thoughtless to say something like “swallow our pride and bring in bigger stars” – as if it were “pride” preventing the festival from bringing in top-tier headliners. In reality it’s budget, budget, budget – something you’d know if you bothered to ask, or bothered to attend.
      So I’d like to humbly apologize for giving offence – as I think you should, Mikey. And don’t hesitate to call me a “big dummy” any time you like.

      Posted by Klaus Schuller | November 23, 2011, 10:20 am
  10. I didn’t read this post, but it’s really shitty.

    Posted by The Real Johnson | November 20, 2011, 9:42 am
  11. You are absurd Mikey Kolberg. You will make a great addition to the multitude of other “journalists” who do their due-diligence when reporting. You’ve already sharpened your very own “dearth of enthusiasm” so I’d say your on well your way.
    Stay strong and uninformed little buddy!!

    Posted by Dale Boyer | November 20, 2011, 9:57 am
  12. Talk about shitting where you eat. What is the point of this blog post? All this piece illustrates is you are an unreliable resource. And quite possibly a jerk.

    No I didn’t get out to any shows either, and I don’t feel proud of missing the fest, but I do know I am in no place to judge a festival I didn’t not take part in nor attend. But your words I can judge…

    It’s articles like the one that sabotages and negates the effort a passionate community pours into keeping itself alive. It’s opinions like the ones you state that chip away at confidence, at ambition, and which prevents advancement from cottage-industry-level to a thriving, vital enterprise. The population at large still thinks the height, if not the entirety, of the [Toronto] comedy scene are Second City and Yuks. And I’m not going to shit on them just because they ARE the highest profile comedy theatres. It would be pointless to talk shit about ‘the establishment’, to make fun of those who have ‘sold out’ and made it. The fact is they employ some of the great, funny comics in the game who don’t deserve my, or anyone’s, derision.

    Many equally talented and deserving comics have laboured to keep giving us alternate venues where we tell our jokes, where we can gather and share experiences and ideas, and which are relatively open and welcoming to new artists and audiences. Your words above have basically told them all, “Fuck you, If you can’t get Dane Cook to come shit out 5 minutes for me, you aren’t worth my attention or respect. And I’m STILL gonna shit on you in public.”

    I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Posted by Julie Bot | November 20, 2011, 10:41 am
  13. Hey Mikey!

    Next year, save us your lame “journalistic obligations” and stay in your computer chair. Toronto’s comedy community doesn’t need some pathetic arm-chair quarterback who can’t be bothered to dig himself out of his mother’s basement and actually attend shows.

    Just so you know, many of the comments above mine were written by highly respected members of T.O’s comedy community…including the producer of Second City. Kinda looks like, with this post, you’ve metaphorically shot yourself in the foot, son. In your bio you describe yourself as a “a comedian and a university graduate who couldn’t find a job”. Get used to that.

    Toronto’s quota of bitter, impotent losers who snipe at their betters has been filled. Find another role or get the hell out of our comedy community!

    Posted by Jim Taylor | November 20, 2011, 10:48 am
  14. “I’ll be honest: I didn’t go to a single TSCF performance.” Thanks for this, Mikey. Inspired by your example, I’m going to start writing reports about the conflict in Syria. I’ve never been, but my columns are going to be SCATHING…

    Posted by Alex Ganetakos | November 20, 2011, 11:00 am
  15. There was a sense of excitement at ‘intocomedy’ as “Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Wrap-up” debuted to an enthusiastic response.

    Mikey Kolberg is an inspired creation. “The journalistic douche” is a character that has been done to death since the release of ‘Anchorman’, but the writer of this piece (Cameron Wyllie) finds new material by combining the arrogance of ‘the journalistic douche’ with the laziness of ‘the uninformed blogger’. One can almost Mikey yawning and halfheartedly stroking of his half-erection as he writes such halflines as:

    “there a couple suggestions I’d like to make from my computer chair”

    “I’ll be honest: I didn’t go to a single TSCF performance. Perhaps I failed to perform my journalistic duties, but I just couldn’t get excited enough by any of the shows to make them part of schedule this week.”

    “So let’s hope they can pull some of (my suggestions) off and convince me and everyone else not to skip the fest next year.”

    Overall impressions: Thumbs up! “Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Wrap-up” is of the best pieces of meta comedy I’ve read since I woke up an hour ago.

    Posted by Matt McCready | November 20, 2011, 11:06 am
  16. I’ve noticed that most of the comments here are coming from the comedy community, including myself. If you’d like to improve on the readership of this blog and reach out to more readers, I’d suggest you swallow your pride and bring on some more established US bloggers like Roger Ebert or Bill Simmons.

    Posted by Matt McCready | November 20, 2011, 11:32 am
  17. Mikey Kolberg: Way to dig your own grave, idiot. You wanna write a review about something you didn’t bother to see and then make suggestions on what they should change?!
    How about this, I don’t know you and I’ve never seen you, or met you, but I think you’re garbage. Also, get a haircut!!!!! And I suggest you start using a stronger deodorant because i think you smell. Also, I don’t agree with your stance on the holocaust, because it DID happen.
    You’re an idiot, Mikey Kolberg. Go write about something you know, like how to alienate yourself from a group of people you were so dying to be apart of with “The Raisin Gang”.

    Posted by Laura Cilevitz | November 20, 2011, 12:47 pm
  18. Mikey you left the damn garage door open again and my quails got sick. I hope you’re happy. Good luck getting to soccer practice, mister. I’m not taking you this week.

    Posted by Dayton Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 12:49 pm
  19. Now hang on Dayton- I think Mikey learned something today and maybe you should learn something as well. People sometimes make mistakes. You need to let go and forgive. On your way back from soccer practice, could you grab the dry cleaning? Mrs Chang fell on Monday so if the clothes aren’t ready, that’s why. Try not to give Mr. Chang a hard time about it either, he’s been through enough already.

    Posted by Melissa Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 12:53 pm
  20. You see, THIS is why he turned out this way. You’re always letting him off the hook. He was born soft and you’ve ensured he stay that way. I won’t have it in my house. I’m not driving to no soccer practice and you can forget about the dry cleaning too.

    If you want me, I’ll be at Deke’s paying NTN.

    Posted by Dayton Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 12:56 pm
  21. Somtimes I think you care more about those quails than you do our son.

    Posted by Melissa Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 12:57 pm
  22. Wow, what a pointless and ridiculous article. On top of being a lazy journalist, you also seem to be completely ignorant.

    I’ve been looking forward to the Toronto Sketch Festival since I moved to Toronto and it is one of my absolute favourite things to experience in Toronto. The best part is the fact that they not only bring in the best sketch troupes into Toronto for all of us to enjoy, they also support local talent and encourage Canadians to not give up their craft.

    Speaking of giving up their craft, I encourage you to stop reviewing as soon as possible. Thanks.

    Posted by Liana Vieira | November 20, 2011, 12:57 pm
  23. Yes well the difference is that we didn’t shell out $35,000 for the quails to drag their asses through university and then do fuck all to find a job.

    Posted by Dayton Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 1:03 pm
  24. You fool.

    Posted by Ron Pederson. | November 20, 2011, 1:08 pm
  25. Fool? Clearly you’ve never owned quails before. Unless you’re talking about Mikey, and if so yes, he is fool. A garage door is kind of hard to miss, let alone an open one.

    Good call.

    Posted by Dayton Kolberg | November 20, 2011, 1:10 pm
  26. You call yourself a comedian or a journalist depending on what I read about you. I can assure you, you are neither. You make think being bad at your job makes you cool but it just makes you an asshole. If this is not your job, that’s because you’re bad at it. By the way, we had the house troupe from UCB here last year, way to research your article. You’re in a troupe and can’t be bothered to support your community, than you post negative, false info and uninformed opinion. Don’t you know better than to shit where you sleep? Quit being a dildo Mikey, you pretty much fucked your troupe.
    Have a wonderful day

    Posted by K Trevor Wilson | November 20, 2011, 2:27 pm
  27. To be fair, this is an article written by someone who didn’t go to the shows about what would have made him go. He didn’t pretend to have gone to the shows and then proceed to talk about why they sucked.

    I hope some of the names that I recognize in the comments think twice about what they’ve posted here and scrap them because they come off as far more immature than the original article.

    Posted by Brad M. Walter | November 20, 2011, 3:44 pm
  28. Jesus Christ chill the fuck out people. Mikey just received a death threat from Trevor Boris! Seriously, I’m reading the list of names here and I’m far more embarrassed for you than I am for Mikey, who I feel made a good point. The Toronto sketch comedy world just besmirched its own name and I think you all look like a bunch of immature jerks.

    Posted by Jimmy West | November 20, 2011, 4:00 pm
  29. I don’t see the word ‘review’ written here anywhere. I think everyone needs to stop getting their knickers in knot and ask themselves if this fest does need to change a few things to get people more interested.

    Posted by Kathleen Corrigan | November 20, 2011, 5:05 pm
  30. You call yourself a journalist and yet unpalpable isn’t a word, it’s impalpable.

    Posted by Grammar Nazi | November 20, 2011, 5:21 pm
  31. I gotta give my two cents

    If you’re so “intocomedy,” you should check out shit that’s advertised AS comedy, even if it’s not publicized enough. You might be surprised. Or maybe not. Then write about it.

    Some more advice: You should know that comedians are quite often approval-seeking egomaniacs (more often than the general population, at least) so they will react strongly to anything written about them — good or bad. Since these people aren’t “big names,” they’re likely to google/find anything written about them as criticism is very important to them at this stage in their careers. If you don’t want these people to explode in fury, try not to write a whole editorial shitting on their festival. They don’t respond well to it (see above.) And of course, they’ll react even more strongly when the criticism is unfounded.

    Reviews are meant for people who haven’t had the opportunity to review the material themselves, so it’s a prerequisite that you provide them with details (I am of course assuming this was meant to be a review.) You reviewed your own thoughts. Unless you’re a “big name,” nobody cares about your feelings. In the end, the biggest mistake you made was wasting your time, which is your most valuable, non-renewing resource.

    That being said, your writing and formatting are decent, so keep that up, but when you share something, make sure it has a point. Your advice for next year wasn’t exactly inspiring.

    I’m sure you’re a funny, nice person, who is just a bit critical for most people’s tastes, so perhaps you should swallow YOUR pride and explain this piece to these people so they understand where you’re coming from, instead of hating you (if their opinion of you matters, of course.) They can be a bit fickle and conceited.

    I’m gonna suck my own ass.

    Posted by Travis Green, self-ass-sucker. I suck my own ass. I'm suckin it. | November 20, 2011, 5:53 pm
    • “(I am of course assuming this was meant to be a review.)”

      You’re wrong. Also, I loved your work with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

      Posted by Brad M. Walter | November 20, 2011, 6:25 pm
      • Yes, ignore the bit about this being a review. I must have forgotten the substance of the article after reading through the comments, or had a lapse in intelligence. No biggie. My reputation should withstand this.

        All the best.

        Posted by Travis Green, self-ass-sucker. I suck my own ass. I'm suckin it. | November 20, 2011, 11:40 pm
    • I believe you may be the only sane person left on the internet. Disregard all other comments, people.

      Posted by Trevor Boris | November 21, 2011, 12:52 am
  32. Two of the sketch fest’s shows were live-streamed on the internet. You didn’t even have to leave your bed!

    Posted by Paul Bates | November 20, 2011, 8:21 pm
  33. Mikey Kolberg, “comedian”. I didn’t know your name before today. Too bad for you that I know it now. I won’t be forgetting it.

    Posted by IN-ASS-A | November 20, 2011, 10:49 pm
  34. Today, the Toronto sketch comedy world revealed itself to be comprised of a bunch of immature assholes. Congratulations, folks. Mikey posted a very fair article expressing a valid point and y’all reacted like a bunch of butthurt bullies. Have fun with your careers, guys. I’m sure you’ll all make it far with your horrible attitudes and your innability to take even the mildest criticism.

    Posted by James Shannon | November 20, 2011, 11:17 pm
  35. The Toronto Sketch Comedy world also made a lot of valid points, and a lot of awesome jokes. I thought the whole point of a blog is so that people can read it and respond. They did.

    Posted by IN-ASS-A | November 20, 2011, 11:36 pm
    • Right, so naturally it’s perfectly acceptable to take personal shots and Mikey and to make vague threats regarding his future in the comedy world. Appropriate response. Grow up, children.

      Posted by James Shannon | November 21, 2011, 12:19 am
      • Vague threat? Nonsense. Just less likely that we’ll work together is all. Nothing but love coming from my huge ass!

        Posted by IN-ASS-A | November 21, 2011, 1:44 am
      • How was it valid? He wasn’t even there!

        Posted by James VanDerbeek | November 21, 2011, 2:36 am
  36. I have a theory that you’re all pissed off because Mikey is a young go-getter and most of the responses on here come from comedians who are well past their prime.

    Posted by Trevor Boris | November 21, 2011, 12:28 am
  37. You seriously have to take that picture off of this article right now!!

    Posted by meowmeow | November 21, 2011, 1:16 am
  38. Dude, there simply aren’t enough bridges in Canadian Comedy for you to be burning this many.

    Posted by Andy H | November 21, 2011, 1:18 am
  39. I prefer this guy to be a douche and an idiot in the open. I hate it when people do it with their body language and oh not so subtleness. or oh yeah, when another reports of their “kind” words they have to say behind your back.

    That being said, there needs to be an IQ requirement before using the internet. and Mikey, you just showed why.

    go to an island where this is tolerable.

    Posted by alex | November 21, 2011, 2:27 am
  40. Also, you stole a picture and didn’t give credit. Bad.

    Posted by James VanDerbeek | November 21, 2011, 2:37 am
  41. I actually think a wristband for all shows is a good idea. THE ONLY COMPLIMENT YOU’LL GET.

    Posted by James VanDerbeek | November 21, 2011, 2:43 am
  42. There is a lot of anger on this page. I thought you were all supposed to make me laugh. This is horrible. All of you are horrible.

    Posted by Joe Fuda | November 21, 2011, 11:25 am
  43. great read.

    Posted by norm | November 21, 2011, 11:54 am
  44. What Mickey Kolberg Wants = TOSketchfest to be better.

    Is TOsketchfest bad? – NO! it’s super awesome. I’ve participated as a performer, panelist, and audience member since the second year and I love it. I think it’s an awesome opportunity for a sketch people from all over the world to get together and perform and hang out and stuff.

    And I was super pleased to see that there were advertisements in the subway!

    I do wish there was more press coverage for the Fest, there sure as shit should be.

    I think it would be great to have bigger stars, from where ever they may be. US, UK, Australia (How awesome would it be to get Chris Lilley?).

    Wristbands would be great too!

    What am I saying? There is a smart-ass tone to this piece, and Mickey you should have gone, considering Sketchfest is one of the biggest comedy festivals in Toronto. Please consider the nature of your blog.

    But you do raise good points, although I would have liked to seen a little more praise for what the good people at Sketchfest have accomplished in a few short years.

    Sketchfest will get where it needs to be, even giants like Just For Laughs can improve.

    As for the threats to your career (from an alarming amount of my friends and super talented people who should know better), don’t listen to them, just keep watching and performing comedy, do the best you can, and keep making waves…it’s good!

    Posted by Josh Saltzman | November 21, 2011, 11:57 am
  45. I empathize with all the Toronto comedians who have to deal with the embarrassment of their like making threats to “ruin” a young blogger and his sketch troupe just because he made some suggestions on how a festival could reach a broader audience.

    A double edged sword is complaining about your struggle as a comedian to reach a broader audience and then threatening exclusion from the comedy scene when an outside perspective is offered. You’re essentially giving every outsider who complains about comedy a shovel to bury yourself in. The blogger explains why he chose “not applicable” to your festival and your response is “we’re gonna find that bitch and destroy him”.

    So the article was kinda shabby (sorry Mickey), but hell it’s a blog not an accredited news source, and he is right in thinking that so-called armchair journalism very much is the blogger’s prerogative.

    If you become this irate reading a mildly satirical blog entry what’s going to happen to your ego when, and more pertinently if, more people start paying attention?

    Posted by Christine | November 21, 2011, 8:40 pm

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