Arts, On Campus

Asinine Parodies Historical Figures, ASMR at Fall Cafe

On Thursday night, the stoic old men painted on the concave ceiling of Gasson 305 were treated to much more than just the usual lecture: Improv and sketch comedy group Asinine managed not only to fill the room with people but also constant laughter that made for an all-around hilarious night. 

The room quickly neared fire hazard status as students resorted to the floor, radiators, and window sills in anticipation of a hilarious performance. Music blared as the audience buzzed with anticipation while awaiting the entrance of Asinine—and when they finally ran into the room, the crowd went wild. 

Co-directors Matt Sottile, MCAS ʼ20, and Elizabeth Burke, MCAS ʼ20, entered the electric atmosphere and, soon after, the lights dimmed. A pre-recorded sketch entitled “Ghost Therapy” flickered on the screen and the audience was immersed in a group therapy session with the famously dead—from President Abraham Lincoln (Sottile), to Steve Irwin (August Riess, CSOM ’21), to the notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (Justin Manrao, MCAS ʼ23). The sketch quickly took a sexual turn, which appeared to be a general theme for the evening. 

With the lights back on, Riess became the host of a game called “My Movie.” Burke; Cole Hammers, CSOM ʼ21; Brendan Barnard, MCAS ʼ21; and Stephanie Chamberlain, MCAS ʼ23, each contributed movie titles corresponding to audience-selected initials. Notably, scenes from Bogus Vigilantes and Junior Varsity Girls were performed with great enthusiasm.

Quinn O’Connor, MCAS ʼ21, assumed the role of facilitator in the following high-spirited game of “Bing.”  Burke and Isabella Espenilla, MCAS ʼ23, transformed into sweeping orphans proposing a revolution—“no, a dance party”—to rise up against orphanage head Quinn Kiernan, MCAS ʼ22. High off the energy of the orphans and in the spirit of dance, Kiernan’s declaration that all dancers deserve parents ended the sketch on a jovial note. 

Asinine then turned to a radio bit, which involved four different stations’ takes on the topic of bathtubs. Maggie Dockrey, MCAS ʼ22, and Justin Manrao, MCAS ʼ23, respectfully broadcasted the ASMR sizzle of bath bombs and the smooth R&B drip throughout the hall. Sottile channeled an inner Billy Mays to sell a tub and was followed up by Hammers’ proposition of speed baptisms on a Christian sports radio station. 

Carrying on the show, O’Connor and Riess treated the rambunctious crowd to a love story in the following game. Bonding over both their limitations to speak sentences starting with succeeding letters of the alphabet and their configured foot fetishes, Gassion 305 bore witnesses to the start of a relationship between the two. 

Kiernan was escorted out of the room as Audrey Davis, MCAS ʼ23, Sottile, and Riess assumed new identities. Kiernan returned with the task of uncovering their new identities through small talk at a party he was hosting. The revelation of the Jolly Green Giant (Sottile) was made surprisingly quick, though revealing Davis’ one-syllable answers and Riess’s fear of circumcision proved far more challenging.

The roar of laughter proved to never cease throughout the entirety of the show. Each member’s love for the group and performing was evident, and their weird senses of humor struck a lasting connection over the course of the night. The performance could come to a close in only one way: a well-deserved standing ovation. 

Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor

October 6, 2019