An ensemble of four student comedians and one student MC will entertain, amuse, and start a comedy movement at Bowdoin tonight with Comedy Night 2010.
Will Alexander '12, Chris Adams-Wall '10, Matt Bruch '10, Lenny Pierce '10 and Nick Rendall will join with emcee Ben Johnson '10 to bring a night of stand-up comedy to campus.
Inspired to unite students interested in improvisation, comedy and entertainment, Johnson set out to create a night of stand-up comedy.
According to Johnson, though there have been alumni who have returned to Bowdoin to do stand-up routines, pointing to Julia Bond's most recent show, stand-up has not had a significant presence on campus.
"Usually we just do an improv show in Pickard Theater at the end of the year, but I decided we should do something new," said Johnson.
However, while students have not produced comedy events on campus, there has been a recent surge of interest in studying the art of stand-up comedy.
Adams-Wall and Bruch are currently doing an independent study in stand-up comedy with Associate Professor of Theater Davis Robinson, according to Johnson.
Comedy Night 2010 will provide students with an interest in developing their comedy skills with an opportunity to showcase their talent.
"I had heard about [Adams-Wall's and Bruch's independent study] and figured it would be fun to bring together five funny guys for an evening of comedy," said Johnson.
Of the five students, Alexander, Pierce and Rendall are also members of the Improvabilities.
All five. however, are interested in stand-up, according to Johnson. Johnson explained that is important to make the distinction between improvisation and stand-up comedy, because the separation is often blurred.
"In improv, the mistakes are often the funniest moments of the show. That is not the case for stand-up," Pierce explained.
"That doesn't mean you can't recover well if you mess up in stand-up," he added, "but it does mean that nobody is going to help you out in that effort."
According to Johnson, each comedian "individually has an idea of how his set will work. But how well they all stick to the script is anybody's guess," he said.
"From what I've heard, everybody's routine is very different.They all have a very different kind of humor—it should be fun to see how the four of them and Will play out on the stage. One joke builds onto the next. But there still may be some improv," said Johnson.
Johnson expressed his desire for the Bowdoin community to be more exposed to different types of comedy apart from the Improvabilities shows throughout the year.
"I'm interested in inspiring this new kind of comedy show. I want to foster a comedic community and maybe get people interested in comedy," he said. "Hopefully this can become a regular show that [students] know will happen at the end of each year."
Pierce described the show as an entirely new experience for most of the comedians.
"Most of us have never done stand-up before, and none of us have done it in front of this many people. Luckily, I think people will come ready to laugh, which will make it a lot more fun," he added.
Comedy Night 2010 will be held tonight at 8 p.m. in Pickard Theater. Admission is free.