Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Swatties in need of a little joy in a world already dominated by Anticipation-of-End-of-Semester-Stress (AeSS) can get a whopping dose of the best medicine this weekend: Boy Meets Tractor is hosting the first ever Comedy Awareness Weekend, coming soon to a Sci 101 near you. The goal of the weekend, according to BMT member Jesse Gottschalk, is “to bring together as many funny people and as many different kinds of funny as we can. We’re aware that opportunities to be funny on this campus are pretty limited, so we want to have an entire weekend devoted to opening the world of comedy to as many Swatties as possible.”
The kickoff to CAW will be the Massively Joint Show (Friday, 8:00 PM, Sci Cen 101), affectionately referred to as the “Joint Joint” by Gottschalk. The inspiration for the Joint Joint came from the success of last year’s BMT/Vertigo-go/Haverford’s Lighted Fools show. “…We’ve decided to host another show which will hopefully be more awesome, more funny, and most importantly, more joint,” said Gottschalk. All three groups from last year’s show will return in addition to Vassar’s No Offense, a predominately sketch, sometimes improv, group.
Swatties hoping for their big (BMT) break can make and star in their own video, the material of which will go into a piece for BMT’s end-of-semester show (Saturday, 1:00 PM, Parrish Beach). “We’re going to have a broad prompt to give to people, then we’ll divide them into groups, give them a camera, and let them come up with their own material,” Gottschalk said, adding: “No experience necessary, we just want people who like to be funny.”
“Vertigo-go Playdate: Improv [Saturday, 4:30PM, Mephistos] games with Vertigo-go! Again, for people who just want to be funny and have a good time, but who find it hard to find opportunities around campus. No experience necessary,” reports Gottschalk.
Sci Cen 101 will no doubt be packed again on Saturday night for The Headline Show (AKA the Real People’s Comedy Show). The Headline Show (Saturday, 8:00 PM, Sci Cen 101) will showcase the real live comedy groups Olde English and Audience of Two. Gottschalk reports that Olde English is hilarious, adding, “I’ve been watching their stuff online since I was a freshman. They normally perform at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre.” Audience of Two is “a pair of alumni, Sam Dingman and Ben Masten, both ’04-ish, who recently won New York City’s Sketchprov competition – a pretty huge honor” according to Gottschalk.
For those who like their comedy with a dose of social consciousness, there will be Sunday’s workshop, “That’s What She Said”: Women in Comedy (Sunday, 3:00 PM, Kohlberg 115). Gottschalk reported that this workshop is something the group has been planning for a long time: “Tina Fey is well-known and respected, but you’d be hard-pressed to think of any female comedians who are anywhere near as prominent as she is right now. There are a lot of difficulties women in comedy have to deal with, from blatant sexism and objectification to more subtle tendencies towards male-centric plots, themes, and jokes.” The event is open to women only and will be hosted by the female members of BMT and Vertigo-go.
CAW-palooza will come to an end Sunday night with “Dinner and a Movie” [Sunday, 7:30 PM, Sci 101]*. BMT will screen some classic, still unspecified, stand-up routines, although reportedly Dave Chappele’s, “Killing them Softly” and Eddie Izzard’s, “Dress to Kill” will be among those featured.
- Bring Your Own Dinner [BYOD]
In conclusion, Gottschalk offered the following three serious reasons why this weekend is important:
“1. Every time a child laughs, an angel gets its wings. Every time a Swattie laughs, an angel gets laser-vision and its Motorola upgrades to an iPhone.”
2. Four out of five doctors agree, laughter is the best medicine. Of course, only one of those five is a real doctor.
3. At least one in three Swatties has performed acts of unprotected comedy by the end of their sophomore year. Many of them are unaware of the free services offered by Worth Health Center to protect them.”
Somber thoughts that are sure to be on everyone’s mind this CAW weekend.