The comedy group Gas Money debuted their sketch comedy show, “Sucker-Punch Hug-a-Lug” to a lackluster crowd. The cast of five put forth a gallant effort and exhibited enthusiasm onstage, but the material didn’t keep the audience in stitches.

Several sketches made me chuckle, but I expected my face to hurt and my abs to be sore from laughing so hard at the comedians. If this is what you expect, the show will disappoint.

“Sucker-Punch Hug-a-Lug” featured 14 sketches, touching on an array of topics familiar to Los Angeles: movie stars, obesity, crack whores and homosexuality. The jokes about Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse and Owen Wilson were tired and trite. The sketch about diabetic obesity was sad instead of funny, and the skit featuring a girl confessing she was a lesbian was dull and anticlimactic.

But all was not lost for the actors in the show. My favorite sketch was titled “Newsroom.” Written by Justin Martindale, it cleverly placed four newscasters in a restaurant where the most startling breaking news was that the kitchen had run out of steak sandwiches. The actors maintained straight faces while creatively spoofing the newsroom. The skit crescendos to the finale when two of the newscasters stood up to reveal they weren’t wearing pants.

Two actors, Sirena Irwin and Justin Martindale, stood out, having excellent range while adopting a variety of fun and interesting personas. Irwin played everything from a comedienne crack whore to an elderly grandma. Martindale’s cross dressing antics and flamboyant characters made him immediately likeable. The sexually ambiguous token fat girl, Fortune Feimster, garnered many laughs as well.

Overall, the characters are sweet, but the material just doesn’t hack it in the cutthroat world of comedy.

The Asylum Theater is located at 6322 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. For more information, visit