The Flirty Boys like it sketchy

An interview with the Toronto comedy troupe playing Montreal Sketchfest this week.

The Flirty Boys

The Flirty Boys (formerly known as the Ladies) is a four-person sketch comedy group based out of Toronto who met while performing with the Sketchersons, a group that writes and performs a weekly live sketch show called Sunday Night Live.

The group features Allison Hogg, Alessandra Vite, Ann Pornel and Alexandra Wylie, some of whom have performed with Second City’s Toronto touring company and Ladystache, a hilarious sketch duo. Known for joking about sex and adding song and dance to their sketches, the Flirty Boys have been making a name for themselves in the Toronto comedy scene.

Samantha Rudolph: What is the story behind the name Flirty Boys?

The Flirty Boys: During the Toronto Sketchfest last spring, we drunkenly tried to convince a local group called the Junkyard Dukes (made up of other Sketcherson alumni) that they should change their name to the much better and much cuter “the Flirty Boys.” They politely refused, so we took it! It basically means exactly what you would think. A group of flirtatious boys.

SR: What made you gravitate to sketch comedy versus improv or stand-up?

FB: We all find that we have much more fun sharing the stage with people and playing off of each other’s energies. Stand-up can be very isolating and we all prefer the give and take required to make a sketch work. There’s also a lot of spontaneity in our sketch performance — we’re looking for opportunities to make each other laugh or find a new joke. Improv is a great tool when it comes to making good sketch comedy. The perk about performing sketch versus improv is that it allows you to revisit the premise again and again, which will hopefully lead you to the best possible jokes. Plus you can plan which wigs you want to wear!

SR: Why do you think stand-up comedy has become more mainstream compared to sketch?

FB: It easier of a medium to produce and put out there. It’s cheaper and likely more accessible. Basically you need one person and a microphone. Plus, sketch shows have a harder time transitioning into TV. There’s a certain magic lost when live sketch is taped. You have to figure out an interesting angle or format that makes people want to tune in week after week.

SR: How does the Toronto Sketchfest and comedy scene compare to here in Montreal?

FB: Montreal Sketchfest is a super fun party with a ton of talented acts coming from all over Canada and the U.S., because, hello — it’s Montreal in the spring! However, the scene in Montreal seems to be a lot smaller. There are a ton of opportunities to perform in Toronto. You can go to the Comedy Bar any night of the week and see a great show stacked with incredible talent. Plus, it’s far more competitive, which kind of forces you to be good.

SR: What is one thing people don’t know about the Flirty Boys?

FB: We all have the same sized feet but we’re all very different heights. Weird, huh?

SR: How does performing/writing as part of the Flirty Boys differ from your previous work with the Sketchersons?

FB: Unlike when we were with the Sketchersons, we are able to perform a sketch more than once which is a real treat. Basically, we are all close friends so there is a nice comfort level with each other, which leads to 100 percent more farts.

SR: Describe your proudest comedic moment.

FB: It’s a two-way tie between winning Sketchcomeggadon back-to-back at TO Sketchfest and the Now magazine Audience Choice Award.

SR: Do people often comment on or point out the fact that you are an all female group? Does that bother you?

FB: Females offer a different perspective to a long-time male dominated scene. But, funny is funny. And the gender conversation is getting a little tiring.

(Cult MTL thinks so too.) ■

Montreal Sketchfest is happening at Théâtre Sainte Catherine (264 Ste-Catherine E.), aside from one special night at Comedy Church (Friday, May 13, 137 Président-Kennedy), from May 5–14. Tickets cost $12/show, day pass $20, full festival pass $55