To most students, standing up on a stage trying to make people laugh on the spot is a cringeworthy task. It is certainly no easy feat to stand in front of peers and spontaneously formulate perfect one-liners, but for the Comic Sans improv group at Quinnipiac, making people laugh is second nature.
[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Comic Sans” align=”alignright” width=”169″][/media-credit]
Comic Sans’ first improv show of the year took place on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the Black Box Theater, and the show certainly dished out its fair share of laughs. The group of eight students put on an hour-long show that was completely improvised and unscripted.
“I never saw anything like this. They were all really funny,” freshman psychology major Jamie Ackerman said.
The show was a series of short skits based off of three words the audience shouted out in the beginning of the show, and each skit ranged from two-person interactions to the entire group participating. There was a simple black background on the stage and no props. The entire show was about the funny improvisations the club members came up with, and each skit was funnier than the last. After the show, Comic Sans held an improv jam session which encouraged audience members to join the group and do improv.
Bridget Kavanagh, senior occupational therapy major, has been a part of Comic Sans since her sophomore year and performed at the event.
“It’s all completely made up on the spot, so you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “But when it ends up being so great, probably better than you could have planned it to be, it is an awesome thing and everyone is laughing. It’s great.”
The group meets every Thursday at 9:30 a.m., where they practice some group scenes, long-form improv skills and the ability to work on their feet.
“It’s new every time, and they make me laugh. It’s the best thing to wake up to,” Kavanagh said.
The group holds auditions in the fall for new members in order to make sure the chemistry works, and they showed obvious chemistry at their show on Wednesday. This year, 17 students auditioned and four were selected.
This was the first show that freshman journalism major Matt MaCauliffe performed in.
“It just comes naturally. You just go for it, it’s instinct, and the laughing comes with instinct and it comes with the teamwork and chemistry,” he said.
The members have an obvious respect for each other’s humor, as they were all laughing at the scenes their fellow comics came up with during the show.
Junior nursing major Gina Pallanta has been in Comic Sans since her freshman year, and she spoke highly of the material the group comes up with.
“It’s nice when everyone laughs at you because most of the stories we come up with are just kind of relatable, everyday things that can happen to anyone,” she said.
Improv is naturally funny due to the spontaneity of the skits, but it is also very challenging.
Improvisational comedy is a combination of theatre and comedy and performing in front of a potentially judgmental audience can be daunting. However, all of the Comic Sans members did not show any fear, and they seemed quite natural on the stage.
“It’s just like, well this is life, and it’s kind of funny,” Pallanta said.