The Yale College Council has yet to find someone to bring the funny to Woolsey Hall in January.
While the YCC has moved the Fall Show to Jan. 30 — and, accordingly, renamed it the Winter Show — in order to book its first-choice comedian, the council has not yet confirmed the desired headliner for the new date, YCC President Jon Wu ’11 said. He declined to name the performer but said he believes the two parties are close to reaching an agreement.
“I’m confident that we’ll be able to get a good Winter Show artist,” Wu said.
This year marks the first time the YCC has chosen to contact potential performers for the Fall Show directly by cutting out a middleman, Pretty Polly Productions. By getting rid of the fees paid to Pretty Polly, Wu said, the YCC can put all of its budget — between $10,000 and $14,000, Wu said —toward more expensive acts.
Last spring, the YCC decided not to rehire Pretty Polly to book Spring Fling performers, instead relying on a committee of students involved in the music scene. Similarly, the YCC has now convened a 12-member committee of undergraduates from Yale’s comedy community to come up with a list of well known, talented comedians for the show.
YCC events director Mathilde Williams ’11 said having a committee of students, most of whom are unaffiliated with the YCC, will allow the YCC to involve the student body in the selection process so that they can hire a performer who will be well received.
Including members of the Yale comedy scene is especially important given the array of “C-string comedians” that past YCC executive boards have brought to perform in past years, said committee member Reuben Barrientes ’10. (Barrientes is a staff cartoonist for the News.) Last year, Dat Phan, winner of the NBC reality show “Last Comic Standing,” headlined the Fall Show to mixed reviews. In 2007, Mike Birbiglia performed to more positive feedback.
Wu said the first-choice comedian’s agent may be trying to book multiple acts in the area to make his trip to Yale worthwhile, but Wu said he is not sure what exactly is causing the delay.
The YCC formed the comedy committee in the summer and sent out a poll to undergraduates in August asking their opinions on potential performers. The selection process started in earnest early this semester when the committee came up with an initial list of proposed acts, Barrientes said, by brainstorming names and watching clips of acts online. After eliminating comedians out of their price range, they ranked the remaining names in order of preference.
Two students interviewed said they hoped the show’s delay would result in a better act.
“Hopefully if they’re putting it off, it means they’re getting a legitimately funny person,” said Lake McManus ’12, who works for the Yale Rumpus.
In an effort to make up for delaying the Fall Show, the YCC put on a “Fall Comedy Fest” in October, bringing five Yale comedy groups and two off-campus groups to Sudler Hall.