With the teaching power to spawn the likes of comedic greats such as Will Ferrell, Kathy Griffin and Melissa McCarthy (plus dozens more), you better hope a scripted comedy show at the legendary Groundlings Theatre and School in Los Angeles is…well, funny.
With a cast of four men and one woman, “Groundlings Online University" is an 18-scene comedy sketch show that has virtually nothing to with an online university, thankfully. The only relation fathomable is the idea that each sketch is so ridiculously random, just like the belief that going to college online is somehow really college is ridiculous and random (no offense to any Phoenix online users, of course).
In truth, this show is absolutely amazing. Part cheap humor, part improv and part sheer cleverness, “Groundlings Online University” proves the cast has no shame in mocking things the actors and the common public find ridiculous. Many of the sketches prove the cast is multi-talented, with many of the scenes having been written by one or more of the five themselves. Hipsters, sign language and dramatic crime TV shows are just a few of the victims of their jokes, reminding the audience that the funniest things in life are always based on a semblance of truth.
Although all five of the comedians contributed to the overall hilarious vibe of the show, two really stood out: Greg Worswick and Annie Sertich, the latter of whom single-handedly plays every single female character in the show although outnumbered by men. While you wouldn’t recognize them by name, this duo dominated the show by daring to go beyond simply acting; they really committed, especially in the scenes (plural!) that required dancing. I sincerely believe both have the ability to follow in many of the Groundlings alumni’s footsteps and reach "SNL" status or something equally as awesome.
While the show as a whole was great, there was a distinct divide between the first and second halves. Uneven in both length of time and level of humor, the second half did not feel cohesive with the energy level the first half displayed. Luckily, the first half was so funny in itself that it makes me want to grab everyone I know in the greater L.A. area and convince them to see the show this weekend.
For the proper and the pauper alike, “Groundlings Online University” presents a genuinely funny and unfiltered comedy experiment with an extremely diverse topic range. Nothing is safe from the ridicule! Be careful about sitting too close to the ends of the rows, or you may just become part of the act.