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Sketch By Number uses television shows and films as inspiration for comedy act

Columbus isn’t renowned for having a wealth of comedy clubs. But lately, a growing number of people are showing interest in the comedy scene.

The sketch comedy show by the name Sketch By Number is contributing to the comedy scene on campus. Every month, usually on the second Saturday, Sketch By Number performs at the Shoebox space in the South Campus Gateway.

Liam Cronin, the director, will receive his degree in theater this June. He hopes to continue supporting the local comedy community after graduation, even if it is difficult.

He said he struggles to capture the attention of fans unfamiliar with theater, as well as theater purists.

“They want to go see some ‘legitimate’ theater,” he said. “We’re straddling that middle line. We do a lot of really fun and interesting theatric inventions. But we also do that stuff that’s just slapstick.”

Cronin said he got the idea from his sister who went to the University of Dayton, where he would see her sketch comedy shows frequently.

Similarly, her show was influenced by a comedy group from Chicago called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.

Some sketches from Saturday night’s show were based on a Glee audition tape, Maury and Harry Potter. One sketch even combined a story from Greek mythology with Ohio weather.

“A lot of our material comes from pop culture,” Cronin said. “And if you use the stuff that’s relevant to everybody, things like movies and books, things everyone knows, it’s going to be a lot easier to reach people.”

The group spends about two weeks in the month brainstorming and two weeks preparing the show.

“If we have a theme it helps a lot,” Cronin said. “Sometimes we do it by prop, or theme, or location, we think of it in a couple different ways.”

However the writing is completed, some elements are to be expected at every show.
One audience member, Spenser Morris, explained that the format is simple but fun. He said the group “always throws in a dance.”

The group has “graduated to two dances now, just because everyone’s kind of expecting it,” Cronin said. “It’s fun for us to think of creative ways to put it in the show.”

Each production is recorded and available on the group’s YouTube channel.

“We have material that can’t be done live, which we would love to film,” Cronin said. “I think we’re going to start filming in June. Then we’re going to get it all ready and release them every week.”

Leaving the space in the Gateway, SBN has another performance June 18 at the Wild Goose Creative on Summit Street.

Always planning for a new month, there is one consistent factor across the material.
“We try to end every sketch with a bang, to leave it in the best possible place we can,” Cronin said.
 

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