by Richard Hinojosa · August 15, 2014
Stone Cold Fox throws downs a tight night of sketch comedy. The six-player troupe has clearly been working together for quite some time (though obviously not for 75 years as the show’s title claims) because they play so well off each other. I was immediately struck by their total commitment to the most bizare characters and situations. This show is super fun, light and hilarious.
Stone Cold Fox is a house sketch team at Upright Citizens Brigade. Since 2008 SCF alumni have gone on to do great things such as SNL, The Daily Show, and Letterman. The troupe has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and performed at sketch festivals around the country. This elite team of comedians is as seasoned as they come. The current line-up is Jonathan Fernandez, Brandon Scott Jones, Molly Lloyd (who also co-directs), Leslie Meisel, John Murray and Connor Ratliff. I was surprised to read in the program that not a single one of them wrote for the show. There is a team of six writers, Aaron Burdette, Evan Greenspoon (the other director), Brandon Gulya, Matt Hunziker, Silvia Ozols and Eli Terry. Their humor ranges from lowbrow fart jokes, where an elevator fart takes on a life of its own, to highbrow dick jokes, where misunderstood masturbation becomes a fear of missing out the moment. I particularly enjoyed the short bits where everyday occurrences become the origins of popular song lyrics. On that same theme, the stylized and somewhat corny sketch about the origin of the classic “Who’s on First” bit was absolutely hilarious. Two other most memorable sketches were the 5th date Love Poem sketch in which a black man performs a racially charged love slash agitation poem to his white girl date as if he were in a poetry slam contest. I could not stop laughing at this one. The other is a very funny sketch featuring the two female players in the team as two Brooklyn women in a scene I’m calling “Can We Gawk”. I should also include the Pen15 cult initiation bit because it was pretty funny too. As with all sketch shows there is a certain amount of hit and miss with the humor but for the most part the writing is solid and very funny.
The players are all incredibly talented comedians – each with their own signature style. Molly Lloyd immediately comes to mind with her Cheri Oteri style exaggerated facial contortions. Brandon Scott Jones reminded me of a young Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall. Connor Ratliff got me every time with his deadpan stare and wild hair. Jonathan Fernandez really shines in the Love Poetry Slam sketch and Leslie Meisel was a scream in “Can we Gawk”. Finally, it is John Murray who enters to make the Fart in the Elevator bit really work with his dumb hick character.
Stone Cold Fox is funny and fringey. There is no real depth or meaning to their brand of humor – it’s all about the art of being funny. And they know their art.