Improv Comedy Night brings laughs to the Kiva

Rachel Duthie

Strippers, obscene cat noises and provocative chair dances are not what you would normally expect at the KIVA on a Friday night, but they all made an appearance during the two-hour, uncensored “Improv Comedy Night” on Friday.

The event was showcased by the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe, along with members of New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade.

“What’s a Golden Flash? Is that a mixed drink?” asked Stefan Schuette, one of the comedians from the UCB while performing an improvised scene.

This is the third show the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe, originally known as the Portage County Players, has hosted this year. However, this performance was different compared with those of the past.

UCB Comedy, a performing arts and sketch comedy group founded by comedians such as Amy Poehler, served as a special guest to the production. Both groups discussed for months in advance about doing a show together at Kent.

“Our previous president had been contacting them and asking for them to come here and as it turned out, over the summer, I received an email from someone at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade asking to actual come here,” said Zachary Immel, president of the Black Squirrel Improv Troupe. “I ran it by the group and everyone jumped on it, myself included, so I made sure to keep in contact.”

After the Troupe held a quick, introductory improv game, members of the Brigade carried the show, and the audience, away with humor focused around Kent State culture.

In one skit, they interviewed a student about one of their craziest nights she had had at Kent State and then proceeded to reenact the story through their own improv, which consisted of pole dancing, cat vomit, local mixed drinks and dirty jokes.

“We always try to gear our shows towards college students and college humor,” said Morgan Miller, one of the performers from UCB. “College audiences are typically very energetic and very loud, it is so fun to play with that and use that to our advantage.”

The Chicago-based comedy group has toured at college campuses all across the northeast region of the United States. Kent State is their third performance in Ohio, alongside with Case Western Reserve University and Wooster College.

As for the Troupe, they perform “because for our love for comedy and our need to share it with the Kent community,” said Daniel Vasu, member of BSIT.

“The overall point of these shows is laughter. Lets face it: College life is hard sometimes. Grades. Classes. Relationships. Our professors. The future? It is all kind of daunting,” said Immel. “The one thing we really try to do here is to help everyone forget those troubles for one night and laugh because I honestly think laughter is one of the best medicines.”

Rachel Duthie is a general assignment reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact Rachel at [email protected].