As far as sketch troupe names go, the Somethingorothers is one of the better ones. The same goes for their material. They're one of the more promising emerging acts on the scene right now, as they proved in their hour-long show last Saturday afternoon at the Second City.
They've devoted a bit too much time to video work – it still feels weird to be in a theatre at a live show and constantly be staring at a screen. But that's understandable when a viral YouTube vid can catapult you to international stardom. And their commercial parodies are amusing, especially an early one for a bank where a young couple's differences become apparent while a homey message about being ready for life gets displayed.
Many of their sketches are well-written and –performed, like a parody of a high school assembly drama cautioning against drugs and sex. If the characters had a bit more backstory to them it would have added layers to the humour.
Another good sketch concerns office emails, with an absurd premise that shouldn't work – we've all heard way too many jokes about spam – but does. That's largely due to sketch member Mike Kiss, whose characters tend to be bombastic and authoritative.
In fact, the troupe has a good chemistry, although I wish the women had more to do. All four shine in a classic bit about overly eager parents (Kiss and Alicia Flaherty) who want their son (Ted Sutton) to stop being a wimp and have sex with his girlfriend (Hisani Clarke). It's a table-turning premise that keeps paying off and manages to comment intelligently on cyber sex and adolescence. Best line: "You're not shooting the president," says Flaherty to her son about when the best time for sex is. "The right moment is as soon as possible!"
One recurring video bit that could achieve cult status concerns two goggle-wearing testosterone-charged TV guys – Blake Thunder and Mitch Overdrive – who dispense manly advice about the most banal things in The ThunderDrive Guide To Going Big. In the episode they screened Saturday, the brawny boys took on office life, and the juxtaposition of their over-the-top pronouncements with the ordinary setting of a typical office was hilarious.
A restless camera and cheesy sound effects replicate a show that you just know is out there on the tube, and Kiss and Sutton have their personas down pat. The funniest moment demonstrated how we can use our computer mouse to "scroll your way to a sixpack!"
The Somethingorothers won't be performing live again for a while - check out their website here to see what they're up (included are many of their videos).