YCC says a comedian to likely perform at show

This year’s Fall Show will most likely be headlined by a comedian, Yale College Council officers said Thursday. The council has an offer out to one of the comedians listed in its YaleStation survey last month and YCC officers said they are currently in the “final stages” of negotiations, but because of the sensitivity of the talks would not name the selected performer.

The YCC has been negotiating with the performer for the past two weeks, Yale Student Activities Committee Chair Jackie Carter ’07 said. YCC President Steven Syverud ’06 first predicted that contracts would be signed by the end of last week, and said yesterday that the council could seal the deal as early as today for the Oct. 14 event in Woolsey Hall.

The performer in negotiations did “well” on the YaleStation student survey, YCC Vice-President Marissa Brittenham ’07 said. The survey included comedians Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Bill Maher, Norm MacDonald, Tracy Morgan, Colin Quinn, Horatio Sanz, Martin Short and Weird Al Yankovic.

“I think that the student body will be really excited,” Brittenham said.

Comedians Darrell Hammond and Jimmy Fallon performed at the Fall Shows in 2003 and 2002 respectively. In 2004, the YCC did not hold a Fall Show because of a lack of funding. But thanks to the new student activities fee, Syverud estimated that the YCC will be able to spend between $30,000 and $60,000 on the Fall Show act this year.

Syverud said tickets would be subsidized substantially by revenue generated by the fee. Students will pay far less to see the performer on campus than they would in a public venue.

Carter said she does not think the negotiations have lasted unusually long.

“There’s always last minute haggling over money,” she said. “The production company’s not at all worried … no one’s really stressed about it.”

Syverud said the council is not behind schedule in securing a performer for the show, which is just five weeks away, but rather taking time to ensure the process of negotiations is “rigorous.”

“We’re just being very careful about making sure the money we’re spending will go to the best people possible,” Syverud said, adding that negotiations this year are ahead of schedule compared to previous Fall Shows.

Although the YCC announced Hammond’s performance within a month of the event, in 2002, Fallon’s appearance was publicized in May, four months before he took the stage.

The YCC also announced details about the other events that will complement the Oct. 14 performance. After a preliminary round of auditions, two or three students will be invited to participate in a stand-up comedy competition in Woolsey Hall just before the main act. After the student performances, the audience will vote for a winner. Syverud said the YCC will likely also hold a raffle for backstage passes for a “handful” of students to meet the performer.

If weather permits, the YCC will also hold a barbecue on Old Campus on the day of the Fall Show, Carter said. She also said a number of fraternities and sororities have approached the YCC about holding parties before and after the show.

“We’re hoping to make it a fuller evening … to make it more of a tradition,” Carter said.

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