Course instructor/comedian Ryan Harper-Brown (far right) sits in the foyer of the UVic Fine Arts building with some of the students in his sketch comedy class.

UVic class delves into sketch comedy

For students of a new sketch comedy course at UVic, that freedom of expression translated into Harry Potter and dildoes.

University is about learning and experimentation and for students of a new sketch comedy course, that freedom of expression translated into Harry Potter and dildoes.

“Everyone wrote a sketch and we realized one of the main themes was sex,” said Fiona Mortimer, member of Sketch Ed, a sketch comedy troupe formed by students of a new writing, promotion and production course offered for the first time this summer through the University of Victoria writing department.

The production class, taught by Canadian comic and former UVic writing graduate student Ryan Harper-Brown, follows Harper-Brown’s earlier course on the history and impact of Canadian sketch comedy on the entertainment industry.

“It’s one of those things that has such a powerful influence on popular culture, especially American popular culture, but it’s never been documented very well and never been offered before at university,” Harper-Brown said.

“Anything that comes from Saturday Night Live is from Canadian sketch comedy because (creator) Lorne Michaels is Canadian and was active in Canadian sketch beforehand and about half of the (original) cast came from Canada. It’s a huge history dating back to the First World War.”

From the Harry Potter-inspired “There’s No Such Thing as Magic” to the telephone sex advice one widow receives in “Unlikely Dildoes,” the quality of the sketches was of a higher calibre than Harper-Brown was expecting.

“I had my own internal bar that I wanted them to reach and I was happy when they did surpass that,” said Harper-Brown, whose performance credits include Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival.

The group will perform the product of their six-week course during Cram Session, “Everything You Won’t Learn in Sex-ed, but Hilarious” on Aug. 20 at the Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $5 each with proceeds to benefit AIDS Vancouver Island. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

“It ended up being a really great partnership,” Mortimer added.

Cram Session will be taped live and made available online at


Just Posted

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in Indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Artists craft Souper Bowls in Cedar Hill studio

Souper Bowls of Hope supports urban youth

Royals gear up for WHL playoffs after suffering season-worst loss

Victoria has a solid 7-3 record this year against opening-round opponent Vancouver

Celebrating our transit drivers on their day

March 18 is International Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

LETTER: Lowered voting age would engage youth in political process

Saanich high school student supports giving a vote to 16-year-olds

World Cups soccer festival coming to Lochside Park

Victoria’s long running youth soccer festival, the Peninsula Co-op World Cups Soccer… Continue reading

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

B.C. VIEWS: Speculation tax, cabin tax or asset tax?

Targeting empty homes seems confused and ineffective

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Most Read