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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Middlebury Discount Comedy travels “Off Campus”

Middlebury Discount Comedy rehearses for their off campus debut.
Middlebury Discount Comedy rehearses for their off campus debut.

For the first time ever, student sketch comedy group Middlebury Discount Comedy (MDC) hosted a show off campus — appropriately titled “Off Campus” — at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. On the evening of March 7, Middlebury students and town residents alike filed into the theater in anticipation of the comedy to ensue. In snippets of conversation overheard before the start of the show, repeated variations of the phrase “we need some comedy in our lives” reverberated throughout the space. The crowd definitely got what they wished for: MDC showed videos, performed stand-up and staged sketches, all of which evoked roars of laughter from audience members.

Former MDC president and current Town Hall Theater intern Keziah Wilde ’24 expressed excitement about having access to stage-tech appliances such as spotlights and musical interludes thanks to the collaboration with the theater, as well as about MDC performing in front of a larger audience than their typical Hepburn Zoo shows. 

“I think moving outwards to a bigger audience is a cool step, especially for people in the group who want to be performing for big audiences and who want to be moving into doing comedy in bigger areas if they want to, like a city or having their own shows,” she said. 

Town Hall Theater Production Stage Manager Mary Longey echoed Wilde’s enthusiasm for the partnership. 

“I think that anytime there can be a collaboration between the town and the college is a good thing for both communities,” Longey said. She emphasized her appreciation for the talent and passion exhibited by both her co-workers at the theater and by the college students, praising the artistic endeavors for bringing joy to both groups of people and to the surrounding community.

Wilde took center stage to open the show, thanking the theater for hosting the club and reiterating her excitement for the opportunity. The show commenced with two video sketches. The first, entitled “We’re all the Man,” featured a boy and a girl stumbling into a college dorm room in an amazingly awkward satire about college hookup culture. A hilarious but cringe-worthy few minutes later, the video ended with the boy cluelessly strumming away on his guitar, singing a parody of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”

The second video, “X Marks the Spot,” depicted a girl excitedly telling her two friends how her name had been written on several of the infamous Proc crush lists (spoiler alert: It was her who signed her own name on each and every one). The video came to a priceless close with the crush list vandalizer slowly ripping apart the stolen lists and shoving the shreds of paper into her mouth. Though the short scene may have been geared towards college students, the other audience members laughed along at the look of shame painted across the culprit’s face as she slowly chewed on the remains of the formerly carefully crafted Proc crush lists.

Following the videos, Wilde and Jonah Joseph ’24 performed stand-up comedy. Each comic displayed their own individualistic style of stand-up, entertaining their audience with jokes about creepy men commenting on avatar body shapes on Reddit threads (Wilde) and the “nepo babies” up at the college who take baths in Battell after lacrosse practice (Joseph). 

To close out the performance, the members of the club came together to perform several live sketches, all of which were creative, energized and, at times, uncomfortably relatable. From a heated disagreement over when the proper time to salt your meal is to “the ultimate will-they-won’t-they” elevator ride to a tumultuous, yet touching Zoo animal tour, each sketch elicited laughter from audience members, regardless of length. Both a short parody on the Twilight series in which the supposed character of Edward turns out to be a “pale” and “ghostly” garden gnome and a drawn-out reenactment of a slam-poetry event kept the crowd’s attention fixed on the stage. 

“The College and Town Hall Theatre relationship is so important to us, and I think for many of the students who come here and find opportunity, and professors who come here to showcase their work,” wrote Town Hall Theater Executive Director Lisa Mitchell in an email to The Campus. “It can be good to come down the hill and have this town-gown interaction that might be a little different than it would be at the college.” 

Mitchell expressed her excitement for future collaborations.

“If you need a laugh, look no further: MDC will provide!”