After weeks of grappling with scheduling conflicts, the Yale Student Activities Committee has canceled the annual Fall Show and replaced it with the first annual campuswide “Mr. Yale” beauty pageant, YSAC representatives announced Thursday night.
Representatives said they were unable to negotiate a date to host the show this semester that accommodated both the performing comedy act and the schedule of Woolsey Hall, where the show is traditionally held. Though they declined to release the name of the performer, since the deal has not been finalized, YSAC members said the council is currently working to bring a stand-up comedian and his comedy group to campus in February to kick off the Winter Arts Festival. Many students said they were disappointed that Yale will forgo a comedy act this fall, but some expressed interest in seeing the new events planned by YSAC.
In lieu of the performance, YSAC is introducing several new events this fall, including a chicken wing-eating contest at the football game against Princeton, and a search for a “Mr. Yale” who will be crowned during the Harvard-Yale game in November, Yale College Council Treasurer Priya Prasad ’08 said.
YCC Vice President Steve Engler ’07 said the council briefly considered renewing negotiations with other potential Fall Show performers to avoid canceling the show, but eventually decided to postpone the comedy act.
“This was clearly the best performer,” Engler said of the comedian under contract.
Engler said he believes moving the comedy act to February will make the usually quiet beginning of the spring term more eventful for students.
“We think that students will really appreciate the fact that this will make the Winter Arts Festival a much more dynamic event,” he said.
YSAC could not book Woolsey Hall on Oct. 12, the intended date of the Fall Show. The alternative of Nov. 10 was suggested, but the comedian could not perform on that later date because of a scheduling conflict.
Prasad said she hopes students respond well to first male beauty pageant on campus as a replacement for the usual comedy performance.
“We’re going to try to make Mr. Yale the big fall event,” she said.
Prasad said 12 male students selected from each residential college will compete in the pageant, and the winner will be revealed during the Harvard-Yale game.
YSAC is also hoping to rent out a theater in the Criterion every two or three weeks and sell movie tickets to students at half price.
Students said they were surprised by the cancellation of the Fall Show and confused over YSAC’s choice of replacement events this fall.
Rachel Butler ’08 said she is disappointed that the comedy act will not occur this semester because she enjoyed the Ed Helms and Horatio Sanz performance last fall. Butler said that although she thinks the new fall lineup is innovative, she is uncertain that these new events will satisfy many Yale students.
“I doubt chicken-wing eating is something that most of campus would like to take part in,” she said. “I really don’t think that a pageant would be that exciting for most people either, but you never know.”
Charles Alvarez ’09 said he does not feel too disappointed over the cancellation of the Fall Show because the performer may still come to Yale in the spring.
“It’s not a terrible break from tradition because [the show] will still happen,” he said. “Winter Arts Festival didn’t really receive any attention last year, so this could be a good thing for that.”
But Alvarez also said he does not think the new events YSAC has lined up are appropriate replacements for the Fall Show.
“I find it silly and ridiculous that those events would replace the Fall Show,” he said. “I just don’t think our culture revolves that much around a football game, and the pageant is potentially degrading.”
YCC representatives said the comedian now due to perform next semester has a “special tie to Yale” but would not comment further on his or her identity.