Top Story, Arts, On Campus

Shovelhead’s ‘Butter Party’ Livens Up Fulton 511 With Its Absurdities

Students pile into 511 for Shovelhead comedy show ‘Butter Party,’ and outrageous hilarity ensues.

A cheap personality quiz may call your rowdy dog an “extrovert.” An audience member in a comedy show may holler like a dog and think themselves an “extrovert.” You also may call that kid on the back of your marketing class who drones on and on about his fantasy football lineup the week before playoffs. But really, it’s only during a comedy show when the real extroverts on campus step out of the shadows. Hello…Shovelhead! and their kin are the real full-fledged, semi-psychotic extroverts—ones with a bit of unfiltered chaos brewing in their eyes.

Hello…Shovelhead!’s fall show, explicitly titled  Butter Party, cozied up in Fulton 511. It provided some house music to ease transitions to keep its sometimes jittery audience rooted in their seats. But honestly, they had us in the first skit where Nic Cage successfully interviews his way into a Kappa Delta sorority.

Their eyes may seem chaotic, but the structure of the show, and the jokes themselves, were anything but. In each joke there was the typical, unexpected and often hilarious escalation that makes comedy work. Some were as simple as a riff between Moses (Nate Fisher, A&S ’15) and Joshua, and the real reason Moses writes “You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbhor’s Wife.” Hint, Joshua liked to “covet” things. But others could be as complex and absurd as the tale of a man (Brennan Waldorf, A&S ’15) who wants to ask his cat if it recorded The Good Wife last Sunday. The thing is the cat is dead. It’s dead because our main character drunkenly mistook it for nachos. But thanks to the help of an exasperated therapist (Meg O’Neil, A&S ’15) they are able to speak across the grave to the cat (Pat Tully, A&S ’16) who of course recorded The Good Wife.

That’s the type of absurd logic that Hello…Shovelhead! strung through its show. One of the show’s best skits started as three guys play a game of “odds.” It starts as just a bit about how guys say and do dumb stuff. One of them offers up a situation and if the other two say the same number on the count of three, then that situation must be played out. It starts out harmlessly. Waldorf’s character is forced to finish his beer. And as guys do, the next situation is more ridiculous. Waldorf’s character must kill one of the next three people to walk through the door. The odds are set at one in a million, and of course the two shout the same number. In walks Waldorf’s father, then his grandmother, then a Nickelback fan. For a moment, the Nickelback fan’s fate seems doomed, but in a clever turn, Waldorf turns out to be as into Nickelback as this apparent straggler just looking for a friend as the two belt out a rendition of “This Is How You Remind Me.” Rest in Peace Grandma.

That’s when Hello…Shovelhead! is at its best really, when you think you know what’s coming next, when you’ve imagined something outrageous enough that they might do, and they go and one up what you expected—whether it is the Hogwarts Sorting Hat sending an innocent, though kind-of-old-looking-first-year to a charter school in Uganda or police who raid a freshman forced triple who turn out to be undercover stripper cops. And of course the “real” Boston College Police Department walk in on the scene and, as if we couldn’t guess, dance with their stripper companions in a mesh of masculinity. Sometimes it was easy to laugh. Other times there was the distinct, “Wait, should we laugh?” pause. But most of all, laughter of any kind is welcome a week before war is waged across campus in the name of the hallowed GPA.

Featured Image by Alex Gaynor / Heights Editor

December 8, 2014