Generation Citizen and Asinine Sketch & Improv Comedy collaborated Thursday night to present The Jest Wing, a night of political comedy. Performed in Fulton 511, the show enticed a large crowd prepared to watch the series of short skits and improv games.
With a political angle to the show, Asinine delivered a night of clever and sarcastic commentary on our nation’s most pressing issues. Making light of the Obamacare debate and the Keystone XL veto, the show relied upon current events to put a new spin on classic political feuds.
The Jest Wing was heavily based in social satire, poking fun at social norms and injustices that affect the world within and beyond our Boston College bubble. The culturally-aware audience received the thought-provoking comedy successfully. However, the performers, who double as the show’s writers, hesitated that the material might get lost in translation.
“Personally, I was really nervous about doing a politically driven show,” Sarah Whalen, A&S ’18, commented. “But everyone ended up writing about something they knew or felt passionate about and it somehow balanced itself out. Everyone brought a different perspective to the table.”
Asinine certainly pushed barriers in its writing, referencing the Holocaust, the Ebola outbreak and more. Though the show referenced sensitive material, the jokes were presented tastefully and in a manner that made the content accessible to all audience members. Similarly to any successful comedy troop, Asinine strives to push boundaries without crossing the line of offending any particular group.
“As far as touchy topics are concerned, we think they can be weaved into comedy if the jokes are smart,” Alexia LaFata, A&S ’15, said. “We'd never aimlessly throw jokes about offensive things into our shows. There's always a lot of discussion and breakdown to ensure that they're done intelligently."
In addition to their witty scripts, the members of Asinine flawlessly enacted their characters. From acting out Obama's hesitant speech patterns to Tom Cruise’s Scientology rants, the cast perfectly emulated the nuanced behavior of countless cultural icons.
The show also tackled the microcosmic world of BC. One sketch, in particular, depicted the Die In that occurred last December in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Max Lelu, A&S ’15, portrayed the BC administration and posed the question, “But have you got a permit? No?” before gesturing to an officer to take control of the protestors in the sketch. This scene perfectly satirized the lack of communication that often transpires between the BC administration and student body.
Each segment of sketch comedy was preceded by a series of Improv games that tossed the Asinine members into the gauntlet. Several members had to improvise a scene in which they died in obscure ways while others had to partake in an impromptu political debate. With the cast asking for suggestions and allowing them to shape the unfolding scenes, the audience became active participants in the show.
“In improv, you try to act confident, and you hope that people laugh, and if they do, you just keep working with that energy,” Sarah Whalen, A&S ’18, commented. “Improv is more about appealing to the audience than the sketches are.”
Asinine’s The Jest Wing certainly appealed to the audience, providing a high-energy performance that left us wanting more.