By Alex Downham
They kept saying, “This isn’t a joke,” but the crowd laughed anyways.
Ryerson’s Riot! sketch stand-up comedy team sold out Bloor Street’s Comedy Club Nov. 5 for its first show of the school year.
“Everybody backstage thought they were going to puke before performing,” said second year Riot! member Alex Cabrara-Aragon.
The club’s nine cast members were anxious to debut new material, often drawing from the darkest depths of their relationships — or lack thereof — for inspiration. Telling from the audience’s nervous smirks, crowd members were conflicted when to howl in laughter or just feel bad for these lonely bastards.
Second-year media production student Laura Del Maschio, for example, describes herself as an “emotional volcano.” To de-stress, Del Maschio apparently lures her boyfriend to her apartment under false pretences when she’s low.
“After I call him to come over, I’ll always lead him to the bedroom,” says Del Maschio. “As soon as that door closes, I erupt. It works every time.”
Incidents like this are why Daniel Corrigan, a third-year media production student, has trust issues. He was bent on distributing wisdom about the human “shitcore,” the sole reason behind humankind’s ill intentions.
“It’s this inherent shittiness deep inside of us seen through the acts of Adam and Eve, Trojan Knights, whatever,” said Corrigan. “Sometimes people are nice, but sometimes there’s Hitler.”
Despite his apparent knowledge of human nature, Corrigan put his last hope for humanity in the worst place possible: Tinder.
“It’s the only place where others can see me as my own dream man,” says Corrigan, unaware of the anguish he would soon endure.
The crowd tried to help choose Corrigan’s “future Mrs. DC” among some regrettable right-swipes, but his best option ended being “masturbating alone until death.”
Corrigan’s not the only Riot! performer with girl problems. Steve Cooke, at Ryerson for media production, expressed his love struggles as an adolescent. In Grade 9, his “plan of action” for kissing some chick with a Wii went horribly wrong after a bad game of RockBand.
“I thought I’d show her how good I was at the game, but I found out she had a Wii — that system is fucking shit,” says Cooke. “I was lagging behind in every song and I failed her, myself and the band.”
While some Riot! members dream of a stable relationship — another media production student (who wishes to remain unidentified due to the fact that he still works at a public pool) — stays spiteful. He remembers feeling disgust towards 13-year-old couples as a public pool lifeguard.
“13-year-olds are at that awful age where they like kissing, but don’t realize cold public pools filled with families aren’t sexy,” he says.
He says he kept a close eye on young couples for fear of public displays of affection; apparently, he often interrupted make out sessions with obnoxious moans and yelps.
“I probably caused psychological trauma,” he says.
Despite the “nerve racking” stage fright, Riot! members were content with the show, marking the group’s 66th year. Laughs were consistent and the chemistry was on spot.
“It’s nerve racking when you haven’t performed for awhile, but I think it went really well,” says Del Maschio. “You always get that feeling of butterflies.”