Laugh Out Loud

Ethan Levitt

Jon Barinholz ’05 and Rob Belushi immediately got their audience laughing in the Palace Theater last Friday.

“We need a theme for tonight.” Jon Barinholz ’05 told the audience when he first took the stage.

“Regret!” an audience member quickly replied.

“Apparently, someone is anticipating that this won’t be a very good show,” Barinholtz wryly quipped.

From that moment on, the night was filled with constant laughter, either by all audience members or sometimes by that one awkward guy who happens to find some random comment hilarious. Belushi and Barinholz’s performance consisted of long-form improvisation, taking about five minutes to develop a random scene and then spontaneously jumping to a new one with new characters, new plot and new problems. Part of the fun of watching this kind of performance is that the improvisers have no chance to discuss what the next scene will include, so during Belushi and Barinholz’s performance when one character started a scene, it sometimes took a while for the other actor to figure it out, leading to some entertaining confusion.

Topics ranged from a man looking for a talking dragon in a sewer, to a gay man in jail for drunk driving, to a mother cussing out her son for behaving inappropriately in a supermarket. In all these scenes Belushi and Barinholz demonstrated their ability to cover a wide range of characters and emotions in a short span of time

Jon Barinholz and Rob Belushi are a nationally known improv team, hailing from Chicago, but traveling all over the continental United States. Jon Barinholz ’05 was a member of Charred Goosebeak when he attended Colgate University, while Belushi attended Wesleyan University.

There were several members of Charred Goosebeak in the audience, some of whom had worked with him when he was a student here, and they were thrilled to have one of their own back on campus and in Hamilton, telling tales of what life is like as a professional improvisational comedian. Charred Goosebeak took the stage after Barinholz and Belushi and showed great potential to follow in the footsteps of their successful alumnus.