Back in the day, at my monthly Brownbread Mixtape variety show, I would regularly write radio-style sketches for our resident sketch troupe The Brownbread Players (Gus McDonagh, Eva Bartley & Sean McDonagh). The show was always themed, and on this occasion the theme was “Do you speak my language?”, so I decided to find inspiration in places where language and communication sometimes breaks down. The obvious destination was YouTube.
The premise of this early sketch is so simple. Find a silly clip on YouTube, reenact the inane banter in the YouTube comments verbatim, and frame it as a thoughtful documentary. It literally wrote itself ( at least partially). It now comes across as a strange snapshot of the base, vile, ignorant type of keyboard warriors that troll comments sections with their offensive language and hateful stereotypes.
The original YouTube source material for the sketch is below and you can have a peek at the comments that we dramatised. That said, since writing and performing the sketch back in 2010, YouTube changed their rules regarding the users actual names, so the original, insane usernames have since changed to the real names, as well as some being (unsurprisingly) removed. So in a strange way, the sketch is something of an artifact or documentary now after all.