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Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:46

Former Hatter finds the lighter side of life through sketch comedy

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Medicine Hat native Jeff Kubik is happy to be on stage performing as a stand-up comic, but moreso sketch comedy with the Calgary-based group he co-founded Kaboom Hooray.


The group is the first Calgary comedy troupe to be invited to perform at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival which was to take place March 6-16. Kaboom Hooray was set to hit the stage on March 13-14 as part of TOsketchFest.
Kubik lived in Medicine Hat for 13 years attending a private Christian school until junior high and then graduating from Eagle Butte High School in Dunmore in 1999.
While only having taken drama in Grade 10 for one year, he remembers spending hours with his friends driving around and riffing sketches.
“On some level, this is what I always wanted to do. There was a mode when I was hanging with my friends, we were not musicians, but we would always riff jokes.”
Kubik moved to Calgary after high school to attend university. He started out studying business and soon realized that was “trouble.” He switched to communications earning a degree and then moved to Montreal and earned a degree in playwriting.
In 2009, he returned to Calgary and started working as a freelance writer, something he continues to this day. He covered theatre for Fast Forward magazine.
“I decided I would rather do it than write about it,” he explains.
He started doing stand-up comedy about four years ago and through that met other comedians who had an interest in sketch comedy.
“I met a group of other comedians who were weird (and) misanthropic. I was the weird, nerdy kid (growing up). We decided we had a comic sensibility we were not seeing in Calgary.”
The group Kaboom Hooray was formed soon after.
Now group members have a regular show every month at Yuk Yuk’s as well as a YouTube channel.
Kubik prefers sketch comedy over stand-up although he still does both.
He performs his stand-up routines two to three times per week in Calgary and a few times a month travels to other centres.
Sketch comedy is scripted, such as Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live.
“My heart is with sketch (comedy),” says Kubik. “I loved Kids in the Hall, Monty Python, there’s just something about it ... I loved theatre and sketch is a short scene that always tells a story.”
The group gets together to talk about possible sketches and rehearses them for a few hours before hitting the stage.
Kaboom Hooray doesn’t tend to do a lot of satire or politics, focusing more on topics with an absurd premise. For example, one sketch the group does is about cops who interrogate suspects by spitting on them.
The group applied to perform at the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival and because it is a juried festival, they were successful in being invited to perform.
Kubik was in the major centre last fall for a month working the stand-up circuit. He was looking forward to taking their sketch material to Toronto, but even moreso taking in the festival and other comedians.
“The festival is a chance (to see) a mix of sketch comics doing their stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing as many of the shows as possible.”
More information about Kaboom Hooray can be found on the website: http://www.kaboom hooray.com or visit the YouTube channel at: http://www.you tube.com/user/kaboomhooray.

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Rose Sanchez

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