Students lined the walls of a packed Fulton 511 on Friday, eager to see what Asinine’s newest show Frog Time was all about. Asinine lined the walls too, though in a much different way.
You couldn’t miss the makeshift portraits covering the usual subjects that line the fifth floor hall. Rather than the blank stares of deans, professors, and CSOM alumni, audience members were greeted by figures a little more … amphibian. Asininers alongside some famous frog figures offered the perfect greeting to an audience that had no idea what to expect out of the night’s performance.
As the blaring “X Gon’ Give it to Ya” and “A Thousand Miles” mashup began to soften, the lights dimmed and the crowd hushed as Asinine co-directors Matt Sottile and Elizabeth Burke, both MCAS ʼ20, appeared on screen. They were trying to wrangle the rest of their annoyed Asininers into making a decision: What font were they going to use? The heated debate quickly evolved into a full-fledged brawl.
The butcher cleaver of Cole Hammers, CSOM ’21, made a compelling argument for Helvetica, and it only took one look for Isabella Espenilla, MCAS ʼ23, to make her fervor for Arial Narrow known. Culminating with the shocking murder of narrator August Riess, CSOM ’21, the Asininers’ scuffle ended with a casual agreement to settle the debate and get on with the show, their chaotic and off-the-wall energy following close behind.
With the lights back up and the fonts still undecided, Quinn O’Connor, MCAS ’21, opened up the first sketch of the night with TV cooking show It’s Mindy. Commanding the audience—literally—was Justin Manrao, MCAS ’23, intermittently holding up an “Applause” sign to encourage the audience’s participation throughout the show. Welcoming on guest star Chef Niko (Hammers) not much cooking was done as Niko immediately confessed his passionate love for rapper Lizzo, and audience members sang along to “Truth Hurts” as the bit closed.
Following up with the first improv game of the night, Brendan Barnard, MCAS ʼ21, introduced and led a “Death Game,” by the end of which Asininers had perished at the hands of the audience’s suggestions—which included NyQuil, late-stage capitalism, old age, and sexual tension.
Keeping the energy up with a game of “Bing,” bad science teacher Maggie Dockrey, MCAS ʼ22, attempted to poison her husband (Hammers), but instead she brought mixed drinks to a whole new level. As he slurped down the best chemical-infused piña colada he had ever tasted, his eagerness for new deadly drinks led Manrao to supply the tide pods for their White Russians as Dockrey stood in disbelief.
While Frog Time did not mark the appearance of any actual frogs (the group’s Facebook event advised attendees to bring their own amphibians), Asinine did provide the raucous crowd with a “ribbiting” performance. Laughter carried over after every skit, and crowd participation was high when members asked for random suggestions. The night closed with animated cheers and a well-deserved standing ovation.
Correction, Nov. 12, 12:28 a.m.: A previous version of this article stated that Matt Sottile, co-director of Asinine and MCAS ’20, appeared as the “Applause” sign holder during the It’s Mindy skit. The sign holder was, in fact, Justin Manrao, MCAS ’23.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Senior Staff