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Comedy troupe mash-up in Robsham

Published: Sunday, March 22, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

The Hardy Boys pull a gun on Nancy Drew, a guy buys a pet giant for his roommates, and J.K. Rowling gives a pep talk to a downtrodden middle school basketball team. Such was the tone last Friday night in Robsham Theater in the Boston College Comedy Blowout. In a breezy, two-hour show, BC's four comedy troupes, My Mother's Fleabag, Asinine, CCE, and Hello…Shovelhead!, shared the stage, performed in front of a crowd modest in numbers and raucous in intoxication.

Decked in their signature burgundy and white baseball jersey shirts, Fleabag opened with a festive half-hour of improv. In an innovative "pan left, pan right" improv skit, four members assembled themselves into a square, two people standing in front, two in back. With this set-up, the two in the front would begin with an improved one-on-one scene until the audience shouted "pan left!" or "pan right!" shifting the characters and perpetually creating new scenes. After, Fleabag pulled one of its members aside so he wouldn't hear the audience create absurd scenarios like "discovering a cure for cancer with J Lo." When he returned, other members would charade the scenerios. Dan Esposito, A&S '10, faired surprisingly well at the job.

Skipping onto the stage in Bill Cosby sweatshirts, Asinine followed Fleabag with a potty-mouthed parody of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. As Nancy Drew, played by Kristin Cibotti A&S '11, searched for her necklace in a haunted mansion, the Hardy Boys threatened her with a handgun. The moment spawned a round of rowdy, drunken laughter. The scene continued in the same humorous vein, excluding the cheap joke by one of the Hardy boys: "I'm gonna go Chris Brown on your ass."

In their most original and relatable skit of the night, Asinine acted out a dorm party scene, with guys gossiping in one corner, girls dancing in the other, and Ryan Cain, A&S '11, decked in referee zebra stripes in the corner. Monitoring the ebb and flow of hormones at the shindig, Cain would blow his whistle to call out party fouls. At one point, when a girl revealed to a guy on the prowl that she was only 17, Cain jumped in to shout, "Ineligible receiver."

After Asinine, came the lull of the night, CCE improv comedy troupe. In a 40-minute set, by far the longest of the night, CCE trotted along in a set of skits in a style similar to Who's Line is it Anyway? Had they kept their set tight, down to 25 minutes like the rest, and acted out only their most explosive skits, they would have performed a nice little set. But their improv grew cliched and immature. CCE, however, the youngest of BC's comedy troupes, has a lot of potential, a large cast of enthusiastic comedians.

Saving the most animated and funny for the last, Shovelhead skipped onto the stage in short shorts, head bands, and knee socks, a rag-tag middle school basketball team with four guys, a girl, and an overly enthusiastic coach. As players whined about the other team playing dirty, one player complained another's penis touched his head as he made a layup over him, and an onslaught of people came in to pep talk. First came an uber-macho man who suggested they get rid of the girl on the team. "What's wrong with girls?" He said. "Because you can't hit them. That's what's wrong." Next, a computer nerd skipped out playing his laptop like a guitar and proceeded to give a goofy speech comparing basketball to a computer. Finally, out of the ether, J.K. Rowling appeared, confessing to a heroine addiction and mistaking quidditch terminology for basketball terminology.

The night ended around midnight, and the drunken crowd stumbled out of Robsham, satisfied with a bizarre night of comedy.

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