By Josh Swan
What do the Beatles, Frankenstein’s monster and socially-conscious rock stars have in common? Nothing, except they’re all the subjects of sketches by Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe Approximately 3 Peters.
Ryerson graduate Pete Hill formed the group in 2004 with friends Peter Gal and Ian MacIntyre. The three met in the Second City’s conservatory program, and decided to put a show together after graduating.
“I did a lot of sketch when I was in high school. Then when I was in university. I did a lot of student government, which is kind of like training to be in a sketch troupe. “You get to go up on a big stage and get really passionate about something and occasionally make a jackass out of yourself — which I did admirably well,” joked Hill.
Hill remembers when he was a Ryerson student working on RIOT, a sketch show put together by radio and television arts (RTA) students. The 31-year-old graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts before attending Ryerson in 1999 for an additional degree in RTA, where he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in television.
In addition to performing, he also sets up the sound equipment for the group’s shows, a skill he learned in his first year at Ryerson when he wasn’t “locked in editing suites in the Rogers centre.”
The group intends on locking some of its past sketches at the upcoming show. “People who book us will say, ‘hey, can you do that sketch?’ And we’ll say, ‘yes we can, but we’ve played it a thousand times,’” Gal said. “We already sound like that whiny band who’s put out its second album and doesn’t want to do any songs from its first,” MacIntyre jokes.
One of the sketches the group plans to retire involves surviving Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr arguing over who should be the last surviving Beatle. Approximately 3 Peters is already working on a new show for the Fringe Festival this July, and is working on a monthly comedy night. Approximately 3 Peters performs Friday, Jan. 26 at 11 p.m. at the Second City (51 Mercer St.).