Toronto-based monthly improv show bases comedy off of audience’s social media
By Alexander Sowa
Liked. is a Toronto-based improv-comedy show, based on taking an audience member’s Instagram posts and using them as a jumping point for hilarity, only escalating as the performance goes on.
In their show at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre on Sept. 24, a group of seven performers started by going through an audience member’s Instagram feed, pausing to ask for more detail on certain people or events and cracking jokes all the while. When they felt they had enough material, they started the show.
As the show went on, each scene outdid the last, continuously increasing in amusement. The characters that came alive on stage were hilarious — larger-than-life — and yet also grounded in details that the performers had asked about from the audience. A friend who was nervous about driving was transformed into a climate activist who murdered people with his car. The hospital they worked at was suddenly a masquerade run by criminals. The performers took small things, apparent from social media, and used them as the seed to create great comedy.
The audience’s laughter grew with each scene, because even though what was happening was ridiculous, they were all in on the joke. The greatest feeling in the room was that of intimacy and being a part of what was happening instead of just watching it unfold.
Even in the final scene, a lighthearted funeral for a character who had died a total of three times throughout the night, it still kept with the detail from those initial Instagram posts — something absurd drawn from the sort of everyday, mundane life that people lead.
Carley Thorne, a Toronto comedian and one of the two producers for Liked., explained the initial idea for the show.
“A lot of the improv you see in the city is short little scenes. We wanted to tell a story. And then we were thinking about the way that people portray themselves on social media, and how it’s different from how they actually are,” Thorne said.
It is ultimately a show about youth, both in terms of the show’s cast and its audience.
“This is a young show. It’s for students, but also for young adults,” said Veronika Slowikowska, Liked. co-producer and fellow comedian.
“We’re fairly young in the community, and we thought what would be a show that would get young people out?’ And Instagram just kind of popped into our heads, and we were like ‘Oh that would be an insane show! That would have endless possibilities!’,” Slowikowska said.
“You don’t think about how people view your social media. So we thought it would be fun to show people, to hold a mirror to them to show them what their social media really says about them,” Thorne said.
Liked. has been hitting the stage for over nine months, and will be performing at Bad Dog Theatre again on October 21.