Hanukkah Hilarity Lends a Hand

On Wednesday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m. in Parker Commons, the Jewish Student Union hosted the semi-formal “Hannukah Banquet and Variety Show,” featuring the Colgate Resolutions, Charred Goosebeak and a musical performance by senior Alex Willick and junior Jake Musiker. Stand-up comic Dave Ahdoot of MTV’s Crank-Yanker’s and NBC’s Last Comic Standing was also on hand.

Rabbi, Associate University Chaplain and Director of Jewish Life Dave Levy emceed the event, kicking off the night’s festivities with a crowd sing-a-long of “The Dreidel Song.” (“Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay,/ and when you’re dry and ready, oh dreidel I will play”…if you don’t know this song, you obviously didn’t go to elementary school in Westchester county.) Levy introduced each new act as the night went on.

The Resolutions were up next, performing Heather Nova’s “London Rain,” featuring soloist sophomore Lizzie Kushner, and U2’s “Running to Stand Still,” featuring soloist junior Adam Weisbarth.

Following the Resos, Charred Goosebeak took the stage, playing a game called “freeze” in which volunteers from the audience are asked to come onstage and bend members of the improvisational troupe into bizarre physical positions of their choosing, which the actors must then use as a starting point for their skits. As expected, things quickly elevated into chaos, the skits touching upon themes such as Santa Claus’s abusive behavior toward his elves, the demonic possession of children and the physical boundaries that must be adhered to by any respectful college roommate.

Willick and Musiker then gave acoustic renditions of the Leevees’ “Latke Clan” and Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song”. Musiker re-wrote many of the lyrics to “The Hanukkah Song,” giving the song’s shout-outs to famous Jews a more contemporary feel and, in many ways, improving on the original.

Ahdoot was the night’s main and final act. His routine centered mainly on his personal background as an Iranian Jew, and as a young, single adult living in New York City, both of which were unified by an off-kilter sense of observation and a knack for self-deprecation. It was his grand-finale, however, which made the strongest impression on attendees. Ahdoot proposed an auction, the grand prize being a prank phone call delivered to one’s parents onstage. The winner was senior Dahlia Shapiro whose father received a delightful call from Shapiro’s “professor,” requesting permission to date his daughter.

“The preparations for tonight started months ago,” said the event’s central organizer sophomore Abby Cohen. “It was a huge collaborative effort, with a lot of different Colgate organizations getting involved.”

“This isn’t the first Hanukkah Banquet we’ve done, though it’s the first to be a semi-formal,” said Willick, also a member of the Jewish Student Union member. “We thought a variety show would be a good idea because it would appeal to a wider audience.”

All of the profits from the night’s events are being donated to Camp Simcha, a camp located in Glen Spey, NY that provides the Jewish camp experience for terminally ill children as well as those afflicted with cancer.?