A Loot Bag O' Laughs: Alternative Comedy Showcase

A Loot Bag O' Laughs: Alternative Comedy Showcase
A collaborative presentation with the Worldwide Short Film Festival and Toronto comedy collective Laugh Sabbath, A Loot Bag O' Laughs is a showcase of Torontonian comedic sketch talent.

The shorts are generally extremely low budget and rely on energy and enthusiasm to carry the viewer through the rudimentary humour, with the majority possessing a high-school improv class feel, which can be carried off live with a boisterous audience, but fall flat if viewed on YouTube.

Good Pals relies almost entirely on a fake penis gag, and the characters' subsequent awkwardness reflects the audience reaction almost too accurately. Morning Walk is a Toronto aping of the Saturday Night Live "Lazy Sunday" sketches, except without any actual words rapped, and amusing jive scatting in place.

Katie Crown contributes an amusingly cute series of stills set to a childish tune of hiding from bad guys in the appropriately named Hiding From Bad Guys. At barely a minute long, the song would feel more at home integrated into part of her stand-up duo, the Remainders.

For a showcase supposedly centred on alternative comedy, the results are generally pedestrian and disappointingly rote. Dick Mime lives up to his name, running through standard mime routines before each act devolves into rude, juvenile gestures. Even for a three-minute film, the novelty wears thin.

The Library is refreshingly surreal 8-bit animation during which there is no escape from the library of Marlon Brando (which was probably the case before he died anyway). There are more oddities to be found in the program as well, including a nose-less bandit, golden showers and miniature motorcycle gangs.

Loot Bag O'Laughs is certainly mixed, but if one is inclined to support Toronto comedy, then at least smiles and chuckles are ensured.