This event was scheduled May 25, 2023.

An evening full of laughter—at yourself, your loved ones, or strangers. That was what the audience was treated to recently when The Second City Swipes Right: An Incomplete Guide to The Ultimate Date Night came to the PAC SLO as part of the current Cal Poly Arts season.

One of my favorite sketches was when a male character wanted to propose to a female character at Applebee’s restaurant. She wouldn’t let him because she said it wasn’t romantic enough. But he went on to say that at every restaurant they had been to and on every street in which he had traveled with her, he was reminded of the times they spent together.

He didn’t just say it in those few words. The comedian embellished his monologue with quips of humorous adventures they had in those restaurants and on those streets. It was touching and funny at the same time. The female character finally allowed him to ask for her hand in marriage even though they were still in the same Applebee’s restaurant. And yes, she said yes!

Now, that’s romantic.

Another favorite sketch was when the actors made fun of mixed-race relationships. A Caucasian daughter brought home a brown-skinned suitor to meet her Caucasian parents. The meeting took place at a Mexican restaurant because the parents assumed that the male was of Hispanic descent. Little did they know he was Middle Eastern. The parents fell back on the stereotypes of what a Hispanic male might want to eat and how he might act and the parents talked about his heritage as if they knew it from first-hand experience.

The daughter wanted to set the record straight, but the boyfriend didn’t want her to do that. He explained that it was too late to correct the parents. That would only make things worse. They would feel badly and they would bend over backwards trying to apologize. The actors exaggerated the responses from all the characters, and sure enough when the daughter tried to correct the parents, they did exactly as predicted. They profusely apologized and begged for forgiveness. Audience members seemed to relate as there was a lot of laughter.

The Second City actors incorporated quite a bit of improvisation into the evening. That was kind of hard to follow at times, because each group of actors had disparate words that were supposed to be used to comprise a cohesive story line. It is hard for me to follow improvised acts like this. The actors did their best; however, many times when they didn’t know what to say, they threw in the F-bomb. And, sometimes they added the F-bomb in places where it just wasn’t needed.

The promo for the show said “It’s love at first laugh . . . Spend a naughty 90 minutes with our caliente cast of comedians as they (consensually) annihilate everything that turns us on—and off—about love, dating, relationships, and everything else in-between the sheets.”

Indeed, the performance was caliente as promised. It was love at first and love at last laugh. Job well done.

:: Cindy Blankenburg