More than 1,800 students attended Friday evening’s Yale College Council Fall Show, which featured two high-profile comedy acts. But the show received mixed reviews, and dozens of audience members began to leave Woolsey Hall during the second act.
This year’s turnout exceeded that of the last Fall Show in 2003 starring Darrell Hammond, which drew a crowd of about 1,200, but last week’s show did not draw as many students as the sold-out 2002 show featuring Jimmy Fallon, Yale College Council Treasurer Emery Choi ’07 said. Many students who attended this Friday’s show said they enjoyed Ed Helms’s stand-up routine, which featured a number of references to Yale and New Haven, but theye said they found Horatio Sanz’s act to be lackluster and had trouble hearing during his performance.
“I thought that Ed Helms was good,” Yayone Rivaud ’09 said. “Horatio Sanz was a disaster. It was the wrong kind of humor for the crowd here. They really weren’t catering to the audience at all.”
Ticket sales, which generated $27,800, covered 80 percent of the total cost of this year’s show. The remaining $7,200 came from this year’s new student activities fee, which raised about $164,000.
Helms, a comedian on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” touched on topics ranging from the 2004 presidential debates and Skull and Bones to songwriter Yanni during his stand-up act. Helms was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd, which included graduate students and professors in addition to undergraduates.
“The crowd was fan-freakin-tasic,” Helms said in an interview after the show.
Andrew Karlin ’08 said he liked the way Helms made fun of Yalies and elements of Yale life, including his references to secret societies and Quinnipiac girls. Karlin said he thought Helms worked the crowd well, especially during his final segment.
“Ed Helms was decently funny,” he said. “I thought that his last sketch about Yanni was amazing.”
Helms was followed by Horatio Sanz of “Saturday Night Live,” who performed long-form improvisation with his professional comedy troupe based on the concept of “prison showers,” a theme suggested by the audience. Sanz’s act lasted several minutes longer than scheduled, and a number of audience members left before he was finished.
Karlin, who left early, said he enjoyed Sanz’s act less than the pre-show, which featured the student improv comedy groups Yale Exit Players and Just Add Water.
“Horatio Sanz completely botched it,” he said. “You can make jokes offensive if they are funny, but Horatio Sanz was just offensive. I thought the Exit Players and JAW were much better.”
But Andy Levine ’08 said he enjoyed some parts of Sanz’s performance.
“He wasn’t good by any means, but if you listened to some of his stuff some of it was pretty funny and clever,” Levine said. “Something made me laugh in most of the skits.”
YCC President Steven Syverud ’06 said he considered the event a success, though he acknowledged criticism that the show finished later than expected.
“The only complaint we got was that it ran a little long, which is one I’m okay with because it means we gave people a lot for what they paid,” Syverud said.
This year, Choi said approximately 1,600 tickets were sold online, and approximately 250 students purchased their tickets at the door.
–Staff Reporter Ross Goldberg contributed to this report.
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