Charred Goosebeak Brings Laughs to the Barge

Carlie Wetzel

On Friday, September 9, Colgate’s premier improvisational comedy group, Charred Goosebeak, took the stage for their first performance of the year. The show was hosted at the Barge Canal Coffee Co. After being greeted by the ever-friendly staff and find­ing myself a spot on the comfy couch, I watched the audience fill up the seats. This particular event was a bit last minute, but even so, about thirty people turned out for some laughs.

“We usually don’t open for less than 100 people,” one comedian joked, but they made an exception for the lucky assembly.

At 8:00 p.m., Charred Goosebeak entered with their signature flair and energy. Four of the group’s members – sophomore Rob Wechsler, junior Max Brody, junior Joey Petracca and senior Ryan Diehl – performed a series of unrehearsed games, displaying their impromptu prowess.

The first game was called “Interrogation.” Two performers acted as police officers while the other two were the culprits. They asked the audience for a person, a place and an object, hence the criminals were interrogated for the murder of Chuck E. Cheese, at McDonald’s, with an iPhone. There were quite a few cheesy jokes – pun intended – and eventually the policemen got their confession.

“I hate Charles Emerson Cheese,” one perpetrator finally barked, with a mention that the Star Wars light sa­ber iPhone application was involved in the process.

Next was “Wedding Game,” in which Wechsler and Brody invited “dates” from the audience to act out a scene at a wedding dinner. The two men have a history and engage in a comical one-upping match, com­paring their dates in an increasingly ridiculous fashion. The two ladies were asked to contribute facts about their relationships on the spot, lead­ing to funny side stories. In the end, it was revealed the two men had dated before, and they ended up back together again.

After that was a Charred Goosebeak original game entitled “Slut Lagoon.” The group asked for two letters from the audience and each comedian made up a new skit on the spot using the two letters for the title. For example, the first time this game was played the letters were S and L, hence the name of the game. After each member shared the title and rules for their game, the audience voted for the one they wanted to see. Our choices were Real Winners, Riotous Workers and Reckless Wrappers. We chose Riotous Workers, in which we voted on a profession and watched the drama unfold as the group complained about their unfair working conditions. The profession we picked was a group of, in polite terms, escorts, which took some interesting turns!

The final game of the night was the standard “Freeze.” Two comedians start­ed a scene in a random position, and when another member wanted to switch out he or she yelled, “freeze” and jumped into the same position as the perform­er he replaced. The subject of the scene must then change completely, leading to some hilarious transitions. The scene started as a mother using her son as a chair and moved to scenes about Atlas, col­lege orientation, a doctor’s office, prom, Link groups, roommates, the gym, the Visualization Lab, Venice and the fic­tional, but comical, Bread and Meat Store. The comedians really pulled out all the stops for this game and showed great comedic timing, quick thinking and hilarious facial expressions.

Perhaps the best jokes that won the most chuckles involved Col­gate places and themes. Parodies of orientation experiences, classroom woes and widely known Colgate-isms were a big success, as everyone in the audience could relate to them.

Charred Goosebeak did an excellent job of reading their audience and gearing their jokes toward subjects that got the most laughs. The one-hour show gets a thumbs-up from this writer.

Contact Carlie Wetzel at [email protected]