Insiders Guide to TOsketchfest Part Two

TSCF Insiders’ Guide – Part Two

During the annual Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, you can fill your calendar with shows by top notch comedy talent from across North America. But don’t take our word for it. We asked some TOsketchfest favourites and die-hard fans to share what they’re most excited about seeing at TOsketchfest24. Read on. Grab a pass. Book some tix. Have some laughs.

(Check out Part One of this series for more reccos!)

Seth K Thomas headshot

Seth K. Thomas has been to a ‘fest or two over the years and knows that it pays to plan ahead!

Seth K. Thomas 

Los Angeles-based Seth K. Thomas will be performing Anti-Thematic Friday March 15th and Saturday March 16th at the Theatre Centre. 

When I go to festivals, I festival. I have no intentions of doing anything in Toronto that isn’t TOsketchfest related while I’m there. I touch down on the 14th and I’m trying to see everything my little pass will let me. I have an affinity for one word shows so Jelly and Swordplay are on my radar. I really want to see Lemon Pepper and Sazón because they sound flavorful AF but their show is right before mine so I think I’m going to miss them. I love Brooklyn so I’ll be catching Amanda Xeller‘s show and I’m absolutely at the Tallboyz Reunion Tour. Let me add, I am over the moon to be paired with Li’l Rasgals & Friends and The Understudies and I will be watching both of these shows. Lastly, I will be at the Best of the Fest Sunday, cause like I said, when I festival, I festival.”

Damien knows sketch comedy inside and out! Trust her.

Damien Nelson

Damien is a former festival producer and sketch comedy’s biggest fan. She’ll be around the festival using her Everything pass to check out all the shows and workshops.

TOsketchfest is lovingly called Comedy Christmas, because just like the holiday there is too much to do and only 12 days to do it. As a withered veteran of this festival, I can wholeheartedly recommend B.O.A.T.S. (because you’ll get to see NYC sketch comedy power couple Lanee’ Sanders and John Ross), BDB Comedy (because even if you don’t understand Mandarin you’ll have a GREAT time), The NDN Act (because you all need a good dose of cutting Auntie humour), and Diaspora Darlings (because Montreal sketch is untouchable). Do not underestimate the power of the Learning and Fun Program. You will have the time of your life and meet new friends. If you do one thing twice, go to the Comedy Road Trip panels. And if you skip Fatuma Adar’s musical workshop, you’re fucking up. I can swear, right?

This guy has hosted 2,361 shows at TOsketchfest over the years. He knows what he’s talking about.

Marc Hallworth

Marc is ¼ of Vest of Friends and one of TOsketchfest’s favourite show hosts … you can catch him hosting more than a dozen shows in 2024!

Woooo it’s T.O.SketchFest time! The time of the year when every Dollarama is swimming with comedians buying the cheapest possible wigs!

I was asked to recommend things to see at this year’s fest, and I had whittled it down to twenty different events/acts. Then the people who asked me to write this blog said they didn’t have enough ink to print that (which I’m now realizing doesn’t matter, it would be on a screen!) But here are the big five that I narrowed it down to…

  • Sketch To The Death: you’d get to see a huge variety of talent, AND you’d get to celebrate 10 years of SoCap Comedy, which is such a valuable venue in our community!
  • $20 Sandwich: super funny individuals coming together to bring you a silly time!
  • Little Funny Plays: I was lucky enough to work with this collective in January and these mofos LOVE sketch comedy!
  • Swordplay: you’re telling me that practicing could make good sketch? Like…rehearsal and stuff? Well damn, this show is amazing!
  • Tallboys Reunion: the boys are back! Over 25 collective feet of hilarity!

And finally, best of all, come see ME with a bottle of SteamWhistle in each nostril! HAPPY SKETCHFEST!

Guled’s a TOsketchfest veteran and champion of sketch in Toronto and Montreal. His picks are solid.

Guled Abdi

Guled is performing in the much-anticipated TallBoyz Reunion Tour on March 16 and with Diaspora Darlings on March 14 and 15.

Hi, it’s Guled Abdi and I’m so happy to be back at TOsketchfest! Here are the shows I’m looking forward to seeing this year (in no particular order)!

B.O.A.T.S. (Based on a true story), if their poster is any indication then this show’s about to be a riot. I feel like they’re given me all these easter eggs that will only make sense if I watch the show. Joy Provision, they live up to their name and more with their mix of fun characters and heartfelt moments. Blackout! SNL meets In Living Color? Sign. Me. Up. Swordplay: A Play of Swords, veterans, playful and fun for the entire family. Comedy Dance Chicago, I think it’s greedy for performers to excel in more than one artistic discipline but I’m nonetheless very excited to see this show. Big Chick Energy: My Best Friend’s Sketch Show, I love troupe names that are based on puns and fellow Producers’ Pick Award winners and they have both! And if you have one more show in you then check out the whimsical Diaspora Darlings (I’m in it!)

Contributors’ recommendations may have been edited for length or clarity.