Live from Quinnipiac…

Hannah Tebo

Photos by Erin Kane

Bright red caution tape that reads “Zombie Crossing Zone” wraps around the wooden beams in the entrance to the Piazza. Scattered throughout the chairs are smiling people, some dressed as pirates and witches, others wearing headsets and directing people around. Spider webs are lazily strung about the fireplace and plastic skeletons are posed in a provocative, yet amusing position.

On the set of Quinnipiac Tonight, actors and crew members decked out in silly Halloween costumes, assemble to the left of the stage laughing loudly and smiling vibrantly.

Quinnipiac Tonight first premiered in March of 2015 and was recently nominated for the Best College TV Entertainment Program in the Nation by the College Media Association. On Friday, Oct. 27, Quinnipiac Tonight placed third in the nation in the competition.

“QU Tonight has grown exponentially in the span of three years,” senior student and Associate Producer for Quinnipiac Tonight Anna Castro said. “When I started working with working with the show my freshman year it was a late night show. Now it’s a sketch comedy show with more producers, more content and a more stylized format.”

As a girl behind a camera dressed as pirate begins the countdown, a video plays on the screen above the stage which introduces the cast in an SNL type way. The host, Andy Dixon welcomes the audience and introduces the first sketch.

[media-credit id=2148 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Sketches ranging from a cast member dressed as the Grim Reaper walking around campus interacting with Quinnipiac students to live performances of “If I Only Had A Joint” sung in the tune of “If I Only Had A Brain” from the “Wizard of Oz” entice and humor the audience.

“I feel you can get a fun effect in comedy with camera moves and what you show,” junior, and Associate Producer for Quinnipiac Tonight, Brandon Nieto said. “I feel the camera can be used to make the audience laugh in ways people don’t expect.”

“If I’ve learned anything from ‘Lilo and Stitch’ it’s that ‘’ohana’ means family and family means no one gets left behind,’” Isabella Purcell said to Michael Zukswert in a sketch called “The Cast of the Cursed Masks” on Quinnipiac Tonight.

Family, the one word that perfectly describes the cast and crew of Quinnipiac Tonight.

“As an organization, QU Tonight is a family,” Castro said. “We manage to cultivate an environment that is welcoming and friendly as well as extremely professional. And that extends beyond QU Tonight to really all of Q30 because they have given us so much room to grow into what we are now over the years. Working for the show has introduced me to some of my best friends and some extremely talented individuals. It’s a network of professionals and a group of really close friends.”

The bond between the cast and crew is apparent on stage and in the hilarious sketches.

“The type of atmosphere that was established by the shows creators and the Cabinet of Q30 at the time is what really solidified that this show was something I wanted to be a part of,” Executive Producer and senior, Derick Rivas said. “All of a us became this one giant friend group that honestly feels like family.”

[media-credit id=2148 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Rivas believes that Quinnipiac Tonight was the reason he didn’t transfer from the school, showing the kind of power the late night comedy skit show truly has.

“Being a part of Quinnipiac Tonight allowed me to pursue passions and ideas, like some of the skits I was able to produce when I was an associate producer, I never thought I would be able to make real,” Rivas said. “Being a producer taught me so much about how to produce, film, and edit videos and motion graphics. The show also truly taught me how to truly be a leader. Really, a lot of what I want to do for the rest of my life stems back to all the fun I’ve had being on the show.”

Quinnipiac Tonight will air two more times on Nov. 9 and Dec. 7 at 9:30 p.m. in the Piazza.