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Keenan Revue lackluster compared to past

Erin McGinn | Monday, February 5, 2007

While this year’s Keenan Revue featured several hilarious skits, the show did not match previous levels of greatness. Slightly tamer than past productions, this weekend’s show still featured the Revue’s trademark humor – just not as much as in past years.

The Revue followed a Dr. Seuss theme with the title “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Revue Fish.” The opening skit went by the same name and cleverly introduced “fish” common in the Notre Dame community (the “jersey-chaser fish,” the “Lizzi Shappell fish” and the “Osama Bin Laden fish”).

The strongest skits were usually the simplest. In order to provide time to prepare the more elaborate pieces, there were short 30 second to one minute-long skits in the vein of a one-liner joke. The skits “Stepladder,” “GEICO” and “Jedi Inferno” were among the best of this variety. They worked so well because of their punch and quick wit – there was basically was no time to screw it up.

The worst skits were the exact opposites – they seemed like they would never end. While these often had good intentions and funny moments, they dragged on too long, often losing whatever humor they initially had. Among these was “My Heart Hurts All the Time,” with a guy singing about the sad story of his life. While it was humorous at points, it quickly lost audience interest, especially since it came close to the end of the first act.

That skit was quickly outdone by “Driving My Uncle” less than a minute later. Again, while the idea of a kid driving around with his very bizarre uncle is funny for the first couple minutes, it quickly waned and got stranger and less funny the longer that it was allowed to continue. This skit did not have the pertinence to those familiar with Notre Dame and came across and funny but too random.

Similarly, the second half of the Revue was marred by such failures as “The Wiggles” (an overly long mockery of children’s shows), “Gaybraham Lincoln” (a terribly unfunny and mildly offensive portrayal of a play about our 16th president being gay), and “A Big Fat Floppy Cavanaugh” (a string of sexual innuendos and jokes told only using the names of female dorms on campus).

There were also several skits that were good, but definitely short of great. Among them was “The Keenan Revue News,” usually considered a favorite amongst audience members. While it was stronger and funnier than much of the Revue, it wasn’t as good as in past years. Poor and off-timed delivery along with a lack of enough Notre Dame-oriented events hurt its overall performance and effect.

“Talk Love with Dos Padres” had two priests working as Notre Dame sex-help phone operators. This was a genuinely funny skit that wasn’t given nearly enough attention and could have been made longer to replace one of the aforementioned skits that weren’t very funny. Similarly, the skits “Next” (a parody on the MTV show, but with a search for a savior) and “Go Fish!” (where guys play the game of “go fish” with girls’ ID cards at the dining hall) had the potential to be a great deal funnier if organizers had devoted more attention and time to them.

The standout performances included “Legends,” which mocked the old game show “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Catholic Disney World,” an outrageously funny parody of the song “A Whole New World” from the Disney film “Aladdin” explaining why Notre Dame is the theme park’s Catholic equivalent and “Captain Planet and the Inconvenient Truth,” which played on the “Captain Planet” cartoon show and Al Gore documentary that decries global warming. Easily the best skit of the evening was “And Then We Got In,” which involved two guys hilariously explaining the non-academic preconceptions of Notre Dame and what they learned upon arrival.

The 2007 Keenan Revue had its moments, but it couldn’t stack up to those of the past. Although it was evident much thought and hard work went into the Revue, it wasn’t the best Keenan has offered.