We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic SNL sketches countless of times. But in this weekly column Sketchy MVPs, The Laugh Button shines a light on comedians from our favorites shows and troupes who don’t often get rightful credit for their contributions to sketch comedy.
The Whitest Kids U’ Know may have had one of the most vulgar sketch comedy shows on TV (airing on Fuse for one season before heading to IFC for the remaining four of its run). Though don’t be mistaken, behind the NYC-based troupe’s dirty gags was clever, often smart writing (well, sometimes… I don’t think there were any hidden political messages in the hilarious “Slow Jerk”).
However, what made the Whitest Kids U’ Know truly special was the acting. Initially formed by Trevor Moore, Sam Brown and Zach Cregger as a sanctioned club at New York’s School of Visual Arts program in the early 2000s [note: Timmy Williams and Darren Trumeter joined later], the Whitest Kids U’ Know’s time on TV showcased each member’s ability to play a wide range of characters, all the while bringing out the best in each other.
Honestly, all five Whitest Kids U’ Know members will most likely be featured on Sketchy MVPs at some point down the line, since they each brought something unique and compelling to the group. However, let’s first set our attention to Zach Cregger. He had plenty of hysterically wacky performances on the show, but Cregger also had a gift for making the straight-man of a scene more than just a sounding board to bounce punch lines off of.
Creeger has been bouncing around TV shows since the Whitest Kids U’ Know ended their tenure on IFC back in 2011, most notably co-starring in the Jimmy Fallon created NBC sitcom Guys With Kids and the occasional appearance on NBC’s About A Boy (and we’re still waiting to see what’s to come with his TBS pilot Wrecked). You may also remember the film Miss March he co-starred and co-directed with his WKUK partner Trevor Moore. Thankfully, though, Creeger still occasionally tours with the Whitest Kids U’ Know, performing fan favorite sketches onstage.
But anyways, let’s take a look back at three of our favorite onscreen sketch moments from Creeger.
It’s pretty rare when the voice of reason in a sketch ends up being just as funny as the gag itself. Yet Creeger successfully does this while playing an ad exec understandably uncomfortable airing a commercial with its mascot chasing kids and yelling “I’M GOING TO GRAPE YOU!” The whole scenario is ridiculous enough, but Creeger’s concerned reactions help further enhance the absurdness that someone could actually make such a commercial without seeing the harm in it.
This really was such a simple premise for a sketch, one that wonders if the British army lost the Revolutionary War because they were just too polite and old fashioned. Whether or not this sketch is an accurate depiction of the British army’s war tactics is questionable (ok, probably not accurate), but Creeger had me at the line “No Gafawing!” It’s a cleverly written sketch, and arguably one of Creeger’s strongest and maybe even most under-appreciated performances on the show… well, at least under-appreciated compared to…
I knew that if I didn’t include this one when talking about Creeger, Matt Kleinschmidt would break my butt with a hammer (it makes sense if you’ve seen this sketch, I swear). But seriously, everything about this bit is ridiculous, made even more insane by Creeger’s depiction of Abe Lincoln as the most insensitive, straight up obnoxious theater attendee. If you’re not bursting out loud with laughter by the time Lincoln taunts John Wilkes Booth by saying “Now you fucked up!” over and over again, well then… now you fucked up!