Many people are satisfied with the smorgasbord of comedy at their disposal here at Yale. I am not one of them — I say there should be more. The two (or is it three now?) sketch comedy groups are decently hilarious despite the fact that some of their skits will fall flat. Out of the three improv comedy groups that I’ve seen, I laughed out loud during each of their shows (granted, some are funnier than others) and even went to multiple performances from one group.
And now, there’s this new stand-up comedy group called Just the Tip which, if the name is any indication, seems promising.
The thing about comedy is that it is subjective. Beyond the obvious — not everyone finds every joke funny — not everyone finds the same type of comedy funny.
(For example, I hate “Two and a Half Men.” I think it’s sexist, the acting is bad, the plots are recycled and there’s no character development. Despite my expert opinion and general distaste for the show, it has lasted nine seasons and last week’s season premiere garnered 27.7 million viewers. Just because I don’t think it’s funny doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be on TV.)
Similarly, some people at Yale don’t find the current comedy groups satisfying. So who’s to say that they can’t form a group that caters to their taste?
Even within the current comedy community, there are differences in taste. During a Just Add Water show last year, the group played the game “World’s Worst,” in which the members of the group demonstrate the “world’s worst” version of topics suggested by the audience. When someone said “mother,” one of the members of the group screamed “MEDEA WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” Only three of us laughed.
Just like there are different tastes, there are also different forms of comedy. Just the Tip is Yale’s only stand-up group, and brings a different kind of comedian to the community. And we shouldn’t stop there. Cruder sketch comedy, more conservative improv, another long-form improv group à la Purple Crayon. Both of the established sketch comedy groups (Red Hot Poker and Fifth Humor) are short-form sketch comedy groups; why not have longer sketches? Use props? Why not have a group dedicated to doing impressions?
I’m no expert, but there are definitely other forms of comedy that students at Yale are not only capable of doing, but would probably excel at.
What’s the harm in promoting new comedy groups on campus? Just like some a cappella groups are better than others, why shouldn’t there be comedy groups where the less traditionally funny students can crack jokes and perform for their friends?
Comedy groups provide are an incredible community where people feed off of each other and inspire one another. Students who don’t have training or natural talent can flourish when surrounded by like-minded individuals who want them to do well. Who are we to stop someone from trying to be funny? We all come to college and want to try something new; being boring or cursed with terrible comedic timing shouldn’t stand in someone’s way.
If Whitney Cummings can get TWO comedy television shows on air this fall, then we can allow new comedy groups to form and flourish at Yale. She reuses Jerry Seinfeld, promotes clichés and stereotypes, and people still find her funny and marketable. Here, people are way more creative, infinitely funnier and would scoff at reusing dried-up materials.
Let Yalies offend, exaggerate and embarrass themselves for the sake of a joke.
We all deserve to laugh more.