Arts, On Campus

Asinine Comedy Lives Up to Name in Fruitful Show of Laughs

Apparently, in addition to Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts, iPhones can always be trusted to alert you to impending meteor disasters. At least, they will alert the members of Asinine, Boston College’s only sketch and improv comedy group, to the fact that they have just 30 minutes before the world ends in a plume of smoke and fire.

In honor of their last 30 minutes on Earth, Asinine members tried to make it count. Among the various parts of the skit, Asininers chose to drown their sorrows in alcohol (à la one bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade), unsuccessful attempts to pray to God, a roadtrip across America, and taking a nap. Asinine started the night off strong with this video sketch, filling the short film with lots of visual gags as well as situational jokes. One member of the group built a “shelter” of books in O’Neill, and by minute 20 had already resorted to drinking his own urine Bear Grylls-style. One of the highlights of the video was the storyline of the member trying to fulfill his life-long dream of a cross-country roadtrip. He got as far as Newton Centre before traffic caught up with him, but while he was trying to make it out of Massachusetts, he sang along to “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. Fortunately for Asinine, and the audience members sitting in Fulton 511, the “meteor” turned out to be a small rock, and the Asininers made it to the show.

To begin the actual performance, Asinine played “My Movie,” its first improv game of the night. In “My Movie,” four Asininers were directors, pitching movie ideas to a producer. Their ideas came to them from the first letters of words shouted out by audience members. Some of the funnier examples of this game were “BB” which one director turned into a movie called Barack Boys, a group of boys (and girls) who really liked Barack Obama, and “KD” which stood for Kissable Dads, a fairly self-explanatory film.

The group followed with two skits, both garnering lots of laughs from the excited audience. The first was “The Liz Show,” in which two tween girls tried to interview a teenage band called Death to Consumerism, and a mailman with an envelope fetish. Following was “Asinine Presents: The First Person To Ever Sneeze.” Three cave people explored the stage until one sneezed and was met by an incredulous, “What the f—k?!” from another surprisingly literate cave person.

One of the funniest parts of the night, however, was not scripted or planned by Asinine. Every time the group asked for words to be volunteered by the audience, they would ask a question to the crowd like “What would you not want to find under your bed?” or “What is the worst way to die?” One audience member in the front row, without fail, would scream at the top of their lungs, “Randy Quaid!” Surprisingly, this answer fit most of the questions posed.

Aside from audience participation, Asinine brought its comedic strength full force in some of the other sketches it put on throughout the night. Some of the stronger examples were the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Kate of the Union,” in which a teenage girl was president and was consecutively asked to prom by Chad, the cutest boy in 11th grade, and Vlad, the son of the Russian Ambassador; “Dead Astronauts,” in which a lonely astronaut tries a promposal using the bodies of his fallen comrades; and “Snapwater,” where two creatives try to pitch the newest Snapchat extension, a water bottle that sends a picture of you to all your contacts every time you drink from it.

Asinine clearly knew how to work a crowd, using funny skits to gear the audience up for the participative improv performances. Many members of the audience had come to support their friends on stage, signified by whoops, cheers, and shouts of various names throughout the show. On the very few occasions that Asinine’s improv wasn’t getting the types of laughs it wanted, the members were quick to pivot the scene to something else, and had the audience roaring with laughter in no time.

The night went out with a bang, almost literally. The last sketch to end the show was a parody of “Summer Nights” from Grease. The group would begin singing the song, only to have it interrupted during the solo by questions from The Pink Ladies and The T-Birds. One of The Pink Ladies interrupted with a melodic and in-tune “Did he put it in your butt?” and “Did you pour milk on his dong?” while one of the T-Birds was more concerned with cartoon characters asking, “Who’s her favorite Smurf?” and “What about Elmer Fudd?” in his part of the song.

Somehow, Asinine managed to weave their way through envelope fetishes, kissable dads, deviant sexual acts, and Randy Quaid gracefully, smoothly, and hilariously. They engaged the audience, but kept a handle on the evening. In an ironic turn, Asinine, a name that belies stupidity and foolishness, presented an intelligent and enjoyable show.

Featured Image By John Walsh / Heights Staff

April 23, 2017