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Kings (Queens) of Comedy

February 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm
By Claire Weinberg '12

The Queens of Comedy was founded last year as a group of female stand-up comedians who put on casual shows for audiences at the Cave. Since then, it has somehow metamorphosed into an entirely male group that puts on shows in Little Nourse and still calls itself the Queens of Comedy. This mildly absurd fact is in the same vein as a lot of the humor in the show they put on 4th weekend.

Freshman Peter Bumcrot started off the show with a riff on an obvious topic: his name. Many surnames, he reminded us, originated in a distant ancestor's occupation. For example, "Schneider" is German for "tailor". He then paused for a moment and wondered aloud what "the village bumcrot" might have been. "I would like to imagine that the bumcrot was held in the highest esteem," he continued, to hoots from the audience.

Karl Snyder '12 continued with a series of wry meditations delivered in a sort of drawling deadpan. For example: "We don't like 'that guy'. If 'you guys'... hang out with 'that guy'... then 'we guys'... don't want to hang out... with 'you guys'. But 'this guy'... 'this guy' is great. He just walks into the room... and everyone's like... 'This guy!'" A lot of his jokes played with language and social customs (for example, hearing Like a Prayer outside of Carleton and just not knowing what to do).

Jameson Siegert '11 followed him with a series of jokes about how all his jokes come from YouTube videos, which was pretty meta. Honestly, this reporter was too distracted by her Minnesotan roommate collapsing onto her shoulder cracking up about how "his accent is SOOO Minnesotan!" to follow the routine. Suffice it to say it was funny, and both "melk" and "bayg" were said.

Finally, there was Scott Donaldson '10, whose act was so incredibly bizarre that it's hard to describe in writing. It started off slow, with Donaldson urging the audience to write down everything he would say, as it would be important. He then went into an extremely circuitous monologue about how since he and his friend Nathan Riemer have been mistaken for siblings, he might possibly not unreasonably say that he has some physical characteristics that could in some situations be interpreted as Jewish, although he is not (his words). As we were sitting bewildered in the audience wondering where this was going, he asked us if we were writing everything down like he asked us to. He then announced that he knew no one would be writing anything down, and produced from underneath the podium a thick stack of papers, which he handed down into the front row. They were copies of the script of his performance, about 100 of them. "We're at the bottom of page 5," he informed us. We looked, and sure enough, down at the bottom of page 5 was written: "We're at the bottom of page 5." It was around this time that a couple of guys behind me began to completely lose it. The rest of the act was even more bizarre: the script included audience responses with specific names taken from the list of people attending the event on Facebook (for example: "Micah Koller (understudy Danielle Bennon (understudy Anna Swanson)): ...") and then abruptly ended at the end of one of the pages, where an audience member was supposed to finish telling a joke. I am still undecided as to whether this was brilliant or just weird, although it was certainly unique, unlike anything I'd seen at a Carleton comedy show before.

So, will the Queens of Comedy acquire some female members and mitigate the absurdity of the name? Will they continue to get better with each show, as they have throughout the past year? Stay tuned!