The last time they performed in Northeast Ohio, the Sklar brothers were a couple hours late to the Kent Stage thanks to the incompetence of an airline that shall remain nameless. But, that didn’t stop the truly devoted from taking advantage of the discounted beers and hanging tough until Randy and Jason Sklar finally took the stage. A late start and work in the morning should’ve scared many off as soon as that show was over, but a line of fans waiting for pictures with the brothers tells you just how entertaining they can be.
On Thursday, about a year and a half after that delayed show in Kent, the Sklars returned to Northeast Ohio—this time performing at Hilarities—and though they were on time and the beer was full price, their first of five weekend performances was just as memorable as that show in the fall of 2015.
The brothers’ performance on Thursday was funny, well executed, and reminiscent of a John Stockton and Karl Malone pick and roll. Like the Mailman and the white guy in the short shorts, the brothers have thousands of reps playing off of each other, which has led to them becoming a force. The Sklars, who themselves point out that they are only somewhat recognizable, are not households names like the Michael Jordans of comedy, but like Stockton and Malone, they are a dominant duo that has an impressive resume and many devoted fans.
Yes, their set—much like the forced analogy to two basketball legends in the previous paragraph—was sports-centric at times, but that’s not all the brothers covered. The Sklars frequently write material about the town in which they are performing, which was true of this show, and their set touched on topics ranging from the typical—parenting, their childhood, the Kardashians—to truly original premises like liberal rednecks and slightly racist pets.
Whether you are a big enough fan of the brothers Sklar to randomly yell out “Chopper 4!” from time to time or a neophyte who doesn’t even know that they’re the guys debating the better value in that one Burger King commercial, you’re likely to connect with them and leave one of their shows wishing you could sit down and watch an NBA game with them. Their performance on Thursday was relatable and mostly positive, but that doesn’t mean it was broad or toothless. Their set was consistent and polished, and since their comedy was about things they love—their kids, their late father, sports—their joy was contagious and the crowd left in a better place than they entered.
The biggest compliment I can give the Sklars is that they seem like guys I would’ve gravitated towards if we all would’ve gone to the same high school. They’re into good music, can talk sports, and just seem like solid, funny dudes. And since no one makes me laugh harder than my friends from high school, it makes sense that I’ve enjoyed the Sklars’ work—whether it be their podcasts, their web series Back on Topps, or their live shows—for years. Thursday night’s show was no exception.
You can still catch one of the Sklars’ four remaining shows at Hilarities this weekend.