Sunday, June 23, 2013

If You're Looking for a Joke, I Suggest You Look Elsewhere

To say that Comic Frenzy (college improv comedy team) was important to my college experience, or to James's college experience, would be a huge understatement.

The fact is that it should never have worked.  It was completely student run at a school that didn't allow anything to be student run.  There were waaaaaaay to many egos on the team.  It should have collapsed like a house of cards a million times.

But, somehow, it didn't.  It was awesome.  It ran like a well-oiled machine.  And it was a huge hit on campus.  I was once putting up posters in the Romney building.  I hung some on the 1st, 2nd, and then 3rd floors.  When I came back down the stairs - moments later - the posters on the 2nd floor were totally gone.  I would hear people bragging that they had a full set of Comic Frenzy posters, and I'd be like, hey, we need those.

I ran the team for about three years, and though I went to every single one, I didn't watch many shows.  I'd come, make sure everyone was there, make nice with the ticket ladies (who we needed), make sure the theatre was open and lights and music were going, then I'd hang outside, telling people who couldn't get in to the 7:00 show to come back for the 9:00.  But I remember sitting in the audience at the Christmas show one year.  We were in the black box theatre, which was the ideal set-up for us.  I think the Spinning into Butter seating was still up, and it was packed.  Like, to the gills.  JD had this moment of complete brilliance in a game that never seemed to go that well (Acro-Panel) and the place went crazy.  I remember looking around, realizing in that moment how incredibly special this all was, and feeling really lucky I was involved.

I never did improv with Comic Frenzy.  I went on to do a different form in New York, one that probably suited me better.  Sometimes I wonder why I never auditioned for Comic Frenzy, but mostly I'm really glad for the way things worked out.  I'm really proud of my work there.  I was chronically undervalued--as all stage-managers are--but I helped build the house that we were all really happy to live in.

It was a great reunion, gang.  See you in another 8 years.


  1. How I wish I could have gone! CF has nearly collapsed several times in the last few years, but with Trevor Hill at the helm, it's slowly returning to its former glory. But it's not quite the same glory, and I don't think it ever will be.

    And I think I remember the moment with JD you're talking about...USSR? Unfortunately Some Shouldn't Replenish?

  2. USSR: Unfortunately Some Shouldn't Reproduce. It was awesome.

    Former Comic Frenzy Bouncer

  3. comment above is Shiloh, not Andy

  4. another favorite moment: at a high school show (oddly enough)in the game of props, a metal pole with a little square metal flag on one end, held strategically in front of Nate Low's crotch, caption "Nate Low Gone Wild"
    I laughed for 5 minutes, I can still see his expression in my mind.

  5. again, Shiloh, not andy, I need to switch over this google account.....but likely won't.