Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sklar Brothers' "What Are We Talking About?"



Is there anything more beautiful than witnessing a performance where everything just clicks? Whether it’s watching your favorite pitcher throw a no-hitter, your favorite dancer nail every trick in their routine, or standing there slack-jawed as your buddy bowls a perfect 300, you can't help but walk away with a sensation of "Wow." And in most cases, it’s not just that they’re really good at what they do…they also make it look effortless. Of course, the easier they make it look to perform such feats is proof of the perfect storm of natural talent and hours they’ve spent working on their craft. 

Add to the list above Jason and Randy Sklar, AKA The Sklar Brothers, and their new album, “What Are We Talking About?” It’s no coincidence this project, complete with pre, post, and halftime shows from your favorite commentators, is sports-themed as the guys pull off a performance just as sweet as any you’ve seen in the Sweet Science. Their teamwork is flawless - I suspect it’s due to being twins and the supernatural telekinetic powers they possess as a result - and their timing is impeccable as their words overlap just enough to keep your brain engaged, forcing it to keep up with their rat-a-tat speed without it being overloaded.

Having another person to work off of onstage gives them a bit of an advantage when it comes to re-living conversations (like the most depressing chat with Lightning McQueen you’ll ever hear) and pulling off some pretty ingenious impressions (their comparison of Google to a guy at a party with inappropriate additions to a conversation is a great premise and their dueling Allen Iverson is eerily accurate).

Unlike most comedy duos, whose bits are comprised primarily of interacting with each other in various situations or straight guy/ridiculous guy scenarios, the Sklars instead work as a two-headed singular point of view coming at you in living stereo. Their rapid fire back-and-forth is an impressive display of timing and the occasional punchlines spoken in unison serve as audible forms of bold and italics (A great example of this is when they point out the Christmas song that begins with a threat: YOU BETTER WATCH OUT)

You could have the most impressive delivery in the world - and these guys definitely have that - but without the material to go along with it, you can only last so far on presentation alone. Fortunately the Sklars aren’t lacking on that front as they serve up the best place to build the Mullet Hall of Fame, absolutely kill it with an impression of Stephen A Smith, explain how Richard Simmons is bad for your wifi connection, and re-write jokes they wrote with children.

The title of the CD asks the question “What Are We Talking About?” and the Sklars provide an answer by talking about everything. From anthropomorphized products that shouldn’t have a Brooklyn accent to the comparison of Lance Armstrong’s life before and after the doping scandal to the best - and most accurate - Pepsi commercial ever, it’s not just what the Sklars are talking about that makes this album so fun, but how  they talk about it. Looks like it’s gonna be another good season for Team Sklar.

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