Backburner rehearses a sketch for the upcoming show on Feb. 25. Credit: Courtesy of Lauren Moliterno


Backburner Sketch Comedy will be bringing the heat with comedic skits in its Fancy Fun Show this weekend  

The group, which is Ohio State’s only organization that focuses on sketch comedy, is putting on the performance to showcase original skits that the members have written.

James Wagner, president of Backburner and a fourth-year in theater said the sketch show is similar to “Saturday Night Live.” He said although the performance style of these sketches is like SNL, Backburner uses fewer props and costumes.

“Our idea is, if it’s essential, and we need it, then we will have a costume, we will have a specific prop.” Wagner said. “It just depends sketch by sketch but the performance style is very close to SNL.”

Wagner said this is the first time the group will be performing a show of this magnitude. The U.S. Bank Theater is the biggest venue the group has used for its own show. The group has been focusing on other projects this past year such as making YouTube videos and performing in variety shows and for fund-raisers. He said it was essential to do solo live performances this year to spread the word about the organization, which has officially been a student organization for one year.  

“We kind of spread our time too much so we couldn’t have a show,” Wagner said. “But then, coming into this year, we’re like ‘OK, we have to do shows or else nobody is going to know who we are and we aren’t going to get anybody (to join).’”

Lauren Moliterno, vice president of Backburner and a fourth-year in English, said members pitched their preliminary skit ideas and eventually performed them for officers of the club to decide which ones were to be showcased at the event. She said the show doesn’t have a theme in terms of content, but they tried to pick sketches that portray similar types of comedy.

“We don’t want to pigeonhole the writers into writing a theme,” Moliterno said. “It’s more of the kind of comedy that develops. This show is a lot of, I’d say, absurd and nonsense compared to what our other shows have been.”

Moliterno said she wants people who attend the show to have a good time and take a break from the stresses of college and the world around them.

“We just want people to laugh and have a good time,” she said. “College is a really stressful time especially (when) midterms are probably coming up; the political climate’s really stressful. We kind of just want a space where people can go and just have a good time and laugh for an hour and a half. That’s our main goal.”

Backburner’s Fancy Fun Show is on Saturday at  8 p.m. in the U.S. Bank Theater in the Ohio Union. Admission is free.