The best thing about sketch comedy is you never have to wait too long if you don’t find something particularly funny. DK Reinemer’s Help! I’m American once again proves the point.
To call it a sketch comedy show though is a little misleading, about as misleading as Reinemer’s title. For while he bounces around the stage in a variety of skits, it is also infused with stand-up, improv, and not a little pandering to its Canadian audience. It is this latter element the audience, myself included, ate up (politely, of course) as if ravenous in a desire to be reminded of just how much better off we are than our neighbours to the south.
Reinemer’s opening monologue about the horrors of living in the United States right now was spot-on, and is where he takes his title.
It was a bit of a let-down when he moves away from some clever observations at the current climate under someone who is “a middle school bully, [who] wants everybody’s lunch money”. Once the initial disappointment subsides though, the sketch comedy comes fast and furious.
Comedy being subjective, some things work and others don’t for any given audience member. Help! I’m American is no different. There were many laugh-out-loud moments though, and Reinemer’s delivery is sharply and energetic.
Relying on audience participation, Reinemer manages to keep what could be disaster at bay with ample improv skills. He certainly chose the right person on this particular night to help create a song from an audience suggestion.
Things do deflate somewhat when Reinemer tests the audience about what they have just seen. It is a clever way though to figure out want lands and what doesn’t.
Help! I’m American continues at the False Creek Gym (1318 Cartwright St, Granville Island) until September 17 as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.