On the night of Saturday, January 31, Donovan’s Pub was packed with a crowd waiting to see peers and a few professionals make it all up as they went along. Bundled-up students, Hamiltonians and administrators crammed onto banisters and filled window sills at Donovan’s to see the first show of the semester from Colgate’s improv comedy group, Charred Goosebeak – Goosebeak for short,
The main difference between a Goosebeak show and when the rest of us bumble through life is that they are talented and funny, while the rest of us are stressed, sad and confused. Goosebeak brought down the house Saturday, soldiering through the crowd’s well-intentioned heckling, with the help of comedy professionals Rob Belushi, Jon Barinholtz and Tim Stoltenburg.
A Tweet posted by Belushi after the show thanked Goosebeak for hosting, also calling out the crowd for being “so sober.”
Sophomore Goosebeak member Danny Levy peddled Rob Belushi’s appearance to entice Levy’s very vocal fan club to attend.
“You know John Belushi?” Levy said prior to the show,
referencing the actor of Saturday Night Live and Animal House fame. “Well he has a brother, and that brother has a son, Rob, who’s coming to perform with us.”
The Goosebeaks appreaciated the help of these professionals.
“They just make everyone else in the group better,” senior Goosebeak member Liam Friar said.
Goosebeak opened for the professional trio, beginning with a game based around interrogation. After the audience determined that two actors had killed Harry Potter with a spork in Bed Bath & Beyond, they had to guess what crime was committed based on clues from their fellow actors. The best characters of Goosebeak’s show included a man with enormous male genitalia who lives in the bathroom of Slices, an alcoholic whose gay lover scorned him and stole his aquarium and finally, a drunk at his bachelor party in Vegas getting a tattoo of not only a butterfly, but also “something manly, like a steakhouse.”
Senior Goosebeak member Lami Mason has found that over his tenure with the group, they’ve gotten better at agreeing with one another’s ideas on stage.
“We’ve always been, and we still are, close-knit, but we’ve built momentum over the past four years,” Mason said.
A later game by Goosebeak featured Mason and Friar as actors on the set of a hypothetical movie, “51 Shades of Gray.” Every minute or so, the audience would choose a new genre for their movie but keep the premise of Mason, black and wearing a black shirt, walking into a store where Friar, white and wearing a grey shirt, sells exclusively grey shirts. Race and marijuana jokes ensued.
Soon, Belushi, Barinholtz and Stoltenburg began their show with similar games and audience participation, sometimes calling up members of Goosebeak for their scenes. Highlights included a scene in which an elderly father and his son – a double agent in the Civil War – exchanged letters, mail-order brides and children. In another, Stoltenberg and a young Colgate student volunteer from the crowd were given the scene premise of making snow angels. Stoltenberg promptly began saying he’d rather make a “snow devil” and inviting the volunteer to make a “siamese snow angel.”
Friar points to how working with professionals shows where they have room to improve.
“We could be better about taking what’s given in a scene, from each other,” Friar said. He claims no innuendo was intended by his statement, but this remains up for contention.
This was by far the largest crowd many in the audience had seen at Donovan’s, boding well for future Goosebeak shows. According to junior Goosebeak member Zach Abt, they plan to have five shows at Donovan’s this semester. The question remains – can you buy beer at Donovan’s with Flex Dollars? And if so, is that a good thing?