By Adam Vrankulj
Ryerson’s very own version of Saturday Night Live is back for its 59th year of making Ryerson students laugh until they cry.
RIOT, the radio and television arts sketch comedy show, is set to perform this week after months in the making.
This year, RIOT is back with a few familiar faces and many changes to the format of the show, said co-director Michael Peddle. RIOT is also directed by Mikey Kolberg.
According to the cast and crew, last year’s show was much conservative than usual. But nothing is taboo to parody this year, Peddle said.
This is also one of the first years that the cast has an equal male to female ratio, producer Carly Watts added.
To make it less predictable, the show has been structured differently than it has been in previous years. “We have really played around with times this year,” said head writer Daniel Kurland. Traditionally, the sketches have been equal five minute skits, but this year there is a mixture of very short and long skits to keep the show fast paced.
The show cost roughly $2,000to produce and the money comes from fundraising, cast donations and a Ryerson donation that pays for the lighting. “The goal is to break even,” Watts said.
This year’s team, made up of nine first-, second- and third-year RTA students, has been working since October in preparation for the show.
Peddle said he even committed to a strict regimen of crunches for, “the kind of mental fortitude it takes to put on a show.”
Like previous shows, RIOT will consist of both live and pre-recorded video sketches. Kolberg said video is an asset to the production.
“The video punctuates the show,” he said.
Kurland added that some of their videos are better than their school projects.
The cast said the show will really get under the audience’s skin. And though they were tight-lipped about the content of the show, the entire crew giggled in agreement when Watts said in what is perhaps their most risque sketch, “an ottoman gets a special treatment.”
Peddle also joked if they were to add President Sheldon Levy as an actor, there would have to be a dam, and, “he could play the levee.”
The crew said RIOT is less a Ryerson production and more just a long-running sketch comedy show.
RIOT premieres at the Rogers Communication Centre, in the Eaton’s Lecture Hall on March 19, 20 and 21. Admission is $5 at the door and the show lasts for roughly an hour and a half.
RIOT will also be performing at “Sketch COMageddon” at The Comedy Bar in Toronto’s west-end.