It was a dark and stormy night as audience members shuffled into Fulton 511 resembling slightly damp cats as they finally found some reprieve from the day's constant drizzle. The dull lecture hall wasn't quite full as the lights finally dimmed 30 minutes after "Hello....Shovelhead!," one of BC's premier sketch comedy groups, said they would be on stage.
But really, a later start was probably a smart idea; college kids can never be trusted to get anywhere on time and rowdy people walking in and out of a dark lecture hall can't be any good for their comedic timing.
"Hello...Shovelhead!," for those that are unfamiliar, are BC's undying servants of comedy. They are a sketch comedy group in the Saturday Night Live mold, though they don't usually write and practice their skits all the week prior but instead prefer to save up their comedy gold and put on one or two rip roaring shows a semester. Their performance this past Saturday consisted of their "Best of Show" skits from 2011-2014, so walking in we knew they would be playing only the hits.
So as the damp audience members began to dry in their seats, the lights dimmed and the DJ in the back preceded to spin the most fire tracks of 2015. Audience members were visibly loosening up as Kanye's new track "All Day" came bumping through the speakers.
Students in every row of this drab lecture hall were hitting the NeNe or whichever new and relevant dance move their limited rhythmic abilities allowed them to bust out in the same cramped hybrid desk-seats, which they can be found falling asleep in any other day of the week.
The hall went pitch black, the Yeezy still bumped, and when the lights finally brightened, four seniors stood relaxed in front of us. They were seemingly here to enumerate for us their plans after BC, talk about their aspirations and reminisce on the wonderful years they got to spend with each other in this wacky comedy troupe; but it soon became clear the show had already started.
We, the audience, were on their turf now and from this point on nothing was to be taken seriously.
One senior proudly told us he had finally made it into that gang he had been trying to join for so long, another ran a floundering sticker store in Burlington, VT, while still another was making great money bouncing at a gay bar as they all made awkward conversation with their compatriot who was gainfully unemployed.
It was clear from the start that these comics of "Hello...Shovelhead!" were very in tune with the ridiculous and idiotic happenings on The Heights we all seem to turn a blind eye to. From poking fun at seniors job search, RA power and UIS, to satirizing politics and ridiculous BC relationships, this comedy troupe certainly knew their audience.
Their skits were constantly surprising me with their poignance; however, they never once felt more serious than funny. They seemingly have found the highly elusive line between comedy and commentary, and while it may have been for a small specific audience, this is no small feat.
They tackled complex and difficult topics that comics typically stray away from, like toxic relationships and murder, but in such a lighthearted manner that their jokes couldn't begin to be misconstrued as offensive. They adeptly took unique and hilarious positions on more lighthearted topics like mod-snobbery and toilet humor.
Ultimately, "Hello...Shovelhead!" put on an hilarious show, full of laughs, fire music and jokes with unique perspectives that reminded us how absolutely ridiculous BC can be.
These people work tirelessly all semester coming up with original work, and their talent is certainly well above the standard students have come to expect from their peer's comedy. Each member brought a unique style to every skit, and the group's chemistry is one of the best parts of the show.
So, next time you have the chance, go and see these kids put on an amazing show. When they get famous you will be able to tell your kids that you saw them in a cramped lecture hall in college and that they were just as funny then as they are today.