Live from Hamilton, it’s SNL meets MadTV

Live from Hamilton, it's SNL meets MadTV

Saul Waller

On Thursday, March 24th, students filled the Chapel to hear improv, sketches, and standup comedy from Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live and Ike Barinholtz of MadTV. Brought to campus by Colgate Activities Board (CAB) special events and Charred Goosebeak, these comedians were well-received by an enthusiastic audience that began pouring in as soon as the chapel doors opened at 8:30. With rock music blaring as everyone took their seats, we were given an initial hint of the high energy and upbeat atmosphere that would define the evening. Everyone was pumped and ready to laugh; and the two comedians responded by delivering a unique, audience-centered brand of interactive comedy and improv. “Usually in the spring semester we bring a comedian so this is really exciting that we got someone so famous, and that we got two,” said CAB Special Events Co-Chair sophomore Karlene Aiken. “Last year we brought Dave Coulier, but he was a little, uh … well, we were looking for someone better.” These expectations set the bar high for the night. Meyers has been on Saturday Night Live since September of 2001 and is known for his impressions of John Kerry, Russell Crowe, Stone Phillips and Tobey Maguire. He is also known for co-hosting SNL’s faux Irish talk show, “Top O’ The Morning” alongside Jimmy Fallon and playing DJ Jonathon Feinstein on the recurring sketch, “Jarret’s Room.” Barinholtz, in his second year as a regular cast member of MadTV, is well-known for portraying Arnold Schwarzneggar and Nick Lachey. His younger brother, Jon, is a senior at Colgate and was instrumental in getting the pair to come and perform. The pair took the stage a little after 9:00, running full speed up to the microphones and greeting the screaming crowd, which filled both the upper and lower levels of the chapel. Right off the bat, they got the Colgate crowd into the act by making jokes about driving through Cazenovia and going to the Jug. They joked about their rival TV shows, saying that if they can reconcile their differences and perform together then there isn’t any reason the Middle East can’t sort its problems out. They confessed the recent “death” of their girlfriends, “one in a plane and one in a train … they hit each other” and asked for young ladies to help “console” them, loudly proclaiming “Everybody hooks up tonight!” After a few minutes working as a team, Barinholtz took over, seeking to follow through on the previous declaration, “Everybody hooks up tonight” by picking out girls from the crowd and hitting on them. The material was fresh and prepared specifically for the Colgate audience, with jokes like “the closest thing to a gay bar you have in Hamilton is the Mobil Station on 12B.” He ripped on Cazenovia, cross-country runners and Abercrombie and Fitch Catalogues. In addition, he did hilarious impressions of latino gangsters, “Massholes,” and everybody’s favorite, frat guys. He even took a shot at “Uncle Joey.” Meyers came out next for his own set of standup. He opened with his romantic side, telling the audience instead of up hooking up tonight, “Everybody falls in love.” The ladies certainly appreciated it and screamed to let him know of their approval. He kept the audience thinking on their feet by involving them in his bits. His addiction to late night E-bay booty calls sparked a 20 minute conversation with the audience about strange purchases, in which people offered admissions that ranged from buying a 4 cent hat to buying a “pewter wolf pin” (whatever that is). After their respective individual bits, the two reconvened and put their improvisational comedy skills into action with a few games and sketches. First, Seth played a marriage counselor trying to help Ike, an angry husband, work through his problems with his wife, portrayed by the entire audience. As it turned out, the couple was fighting after spending an anniversary night out at the Jug, where somehow Dick Cheney was whacked on Ecstasy. The next improv skit involved Seth trying to get Ike to guess random things. Ike would leave the room and the audience would come up with four things for him to guess in a skit that revolved around a guy not getting invited to his buddy’s bachelor party. The two were clearly in their element and on top of their game when it came to this kind of sketch comedy. They played off each other like they’ve been doing it for years (they have). “It was a great show, I really liked the energy,” sophomore Simon Bresler said. Fellow sophomore Davis Godbout added, “I peed myself a little bit …Well, not really, but almost. It was really funny.” The audience came to laugh and they certainly got what they were looking for. Sophomore Jon Steigerwald, CAB Special Events Co-Chair, raved about the performance. “They were both great, this went really well.” Both comedians hung out afterwards to sign autographs and take pictures with students, laughing and joking with all the students who stuck around. Ike’s younger brother Jon said he had never seen his older brother do standup before, though, he said, “He’s just like this at home. We have a very funny family.” He added with a wink that he, for one, wanted to make good on his older brother’s declaration, “I’m definitely hooking up tonight.” “What happened to me tonight, I’ll never forget. It was a pretty special night at the Chapel,” said Seth about the performance to the 25 or so students that crowded around the pair before they headed downtown to see how Hamilton stacks up against New York City and Hollywood. Ike agreed as he autographed flyers for the event, “They should call it ‘Cool-gate.'”