Press! Press! Press!

It’s the show everybody* is talking about! From the Journal and Courier:

Comedy and music

Purdue University’s answer to “Weird Al” Yankovic will perform this weekend.

The musical comedy group Andy Ober Orchestra will perform with Ship of Fools, a long-standing Purdue improvisational comedy troupe, from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at Matthews Hall, Room 210, on Purdue campus. Admission is free.

The Andy Ober Orchestra has original songs like “You’re the Bursar,” and it parodies tunes like “Pi Pi Pi” from NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” and “All the Music Sounds the Same,” the group’s take on the Cheers theme song.

The Ship of Fools’ portion of the program will be improv games similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway? For the rest of the semester, the Fools meet from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday at Beering Hall, Room 2280. The public is invited to watch the games or try their own hand at performing.

Of course, “You’re the Bursar” is a parody of a Smash Mouth song, but who’s counting?

* For sufficiently narrow definitions of “everybody.”

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Ship of Fools + Andy Ober Orchestra

Do you have a face? If so, please read the following public service announcement.

Each year, millions of Americans suffer from a debilitating condition known in the medical community as cephalofacial rhythmic adissociatitis. Common symptoms include boredom, chronic failure to locate Friday night entertainment, and periodic blinking.

If you or someone you know suffers from this condition, there is help.

This Friday, March 31, 2006, the Ship of Fools and Andy Ober Orchestra will perform a free show in MTHW 210 starting at 8:00 pm. Four out of five doctors agree that the combined application of improv comedy and Weird Al-esque musical parodies is more effective than placebo at treating cephalofacial rhythmic adissociatitis.

Remember, cephalofacial rhythmic adissociatitis is curable if caught early. Thus, it is recommended that you and everyone you know attend the SoF/AOO joint performance. Studies in mice have shown that even in individuals not harboring any symptoms, the show will provide a preventative benefit.

So, please take the time to attend this Friday’s show at 8 pm in MTHW 210. If you skip it and your face is not rocked off, you only have yourself to blame.

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They Blinded Us With Science

Saturday was the largest Ship of Fools show ever. We were the opening act of the 2006 Indiana Science Olympiad at Purdue.

How big is that? Let me put it this way: if you computed base 10 logarithm of the cardinality of the audience and rounded the result to the nearest integer, the answer would be 3.

Or, if you’re not a mathematician, think of it this way: the audience was on the order of 1,000 students (mostly grades 7 – 12), teachers, and parents, give or take. An audience so big, we performed on stage at Elliott Hall of Music, a venue of size comparable to Radio City Music Hall. Elliott is big. [Editor's note: How big is it?] It’s so big, it has its own Wikipedia entry.

(On the otherhand, so do quarks, so maybe Wikipediahood isn’t a good measure of size. But I digress.)

The show went incredibly well. The audience was possibly the most enthusiastic and energetic we’ve ever had, both in terms of total enthusiasm as well as per capita. For example, there’s a crowd warm-up we often do called “More Waffles Please,” intended to get the audience willing to yell out suggestions later on. Basically, you divide the audience into thirds, and each group shouts one of the warm-up’s eponymous words whenever the MC points to them. Normally, the audience starts off pretty timid, and it takes a few tries before you build up a decent volume.

This show? First try and they’re good and loud. And they kept that energy throughout the show.

The audience volunteers who came up on stage for a couple of the games also did a fantastic job. Heck, the boy who came up to be a word bank in Hesitation even delivered the closer! (As in, the line you end the scene with, because you know there’s no way you’re going to top it.)

Of course, that’s not to say that the Fools themselves didn’t go a great job too. We had a couple video cameras running to record the show, and I really hope they came out well. There was a third camera (which I don’t think was actually recording) being used to project the action on stage up onto a big screen above it. I’m told that I loomed so large on it that it looked a bit like Attack of the 500 Foot Jesus Paul up there.

However, my sources indicate even this show won’t hold a candle to what’s coming up on Friday!

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Ship of Fools v. Haman

Oh yeah, the Ship of Fools had another show about two weeks ago that I don’t think anyone’s blogged about yet.

March 5 was Hillel‘s annual Purim Carnival. Of course, everyone knows Purim fell on March 14, but Hillel celebrated it earlier to avoid the conflict with Pi Day. (Avoiding the week of Spring Break was secondary, I’m sure.)

In the fine American tradition of thinking that all Jewish holy days correspond directly to Christian holy days (for example, Hanukkah == Jewish Christmas, Chanukah == Jewish Christmas Eve, Hanukah == Jewish Boxing Day, and that’s all the Jewish holy days the average American knows), Purim is sort of like the Jewish equivalent of Mardi Gras. But instead of getting your sin on before Lent, Purim celebrates Haman’s failure to exterminate the Jews (see also: Book of Esther).

Anyway, Hillel invited the Fools to perform as part of their Purim festivities. Little did we know that the main demographic of our audience was going to be little kids and their parents (with a few of our die-hard fans sitting in front of the kids for good measure). Nevertheless, the show went very well. The kids turned out to be a gold mine of great suggestions, my favorite being Ryan “I give gloriously elaborate suggestions” Garwood getting the suggestion “computer technician from Cleveland” from one of the kids.

There was also the inherent humor in having two of the littlest kids participate in Moving People with Andy and I (the two largest performers that afternoon), a game in which the performers’ movements are entirely controlled by the audience volunteers. Fun fact: kids don’t care about your center of gravity.

We also performed traditional Jewish improv games like Irish Jewish Drinking Song and Do Jew Run. What makes those games different from their gentile counterparts? In the Jewish versions, you go from right to left.

Also, many hamantaschen were consumed.

Bioanalytical Recap

Back on December 10, the Ship of Fools had its final performance of the Fall 2005 semester, performing at Bioanalytical Systems‘s holiday dinner. I’ve been lazy putting this write-up up (by which I mean, actually writing it), and Ryan and Benji have long since beaten me to the punch.

But why would I let something like that stop me?

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Empirical proof that Halloween and improv definitely do mix.

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My Big Fat Improv Update

It’s been far too long since I’ve talked about the current goings-on with the Ship of Fools, especially considering that we’ve had two more performances and some big things in the pipeline!

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Just to dispel any rumors

My mom is not dead.

West Side Improv

There’s something about the local Steak & Shake that seems to attract the bizarre and surreal. Last Friday proved to be another piece of evidence for that.

Herein lies the tale of the closest I’ve ever been to being in a gang fight.

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Ship of Fools Website Snazziness

Some people have completely overhauled the Ship of Fools website. Gregor is a weird name.

Not only is the new Fools website the first non-hideous website I’ve designed, but it’s also using WordPress as its backend, just like this blog. Now the website has more automation and less me manually editing files whenever new information needs to be posted.

Going Nuclear

Any president worth his salt has it. The ultimate weapon. The last resort. The big red button. The recourse so terrifying you rarely ever speak of it directly.

The nuclear option.

I used mine Saturday.

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PSUB Improv Night

The Ship of Fools will be performing with The Crazy Monkeys at the PSUB Improv Night this Friday, starting at 8:00 pm in the North Ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union. Tickets are $3 for Purdue students and $5 otherwise.

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Improv Club Callout Tonight

Tonight is the Purdue Improv Club‘s callout! If you’re interested in joining, curious as to what we do, or just want to enjoy a free improv show every Friday night, you won’t want to miss it.

Purdue Improv Club Callout
Friday, September 9, 2005, at 7:00 pm
BRNG 2280
Anyone who wants to come!
Because we can.
How [Much]
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Week in Review

Hmm. I’ve been at Purdue for a week. I guess I should say a few things about that, shouldn’t I?

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BGR Activities Fair

Fellow Fools Benji and Ryan manned our table at this year’s BGR Activities Fair, wherein incoming freshman get their first chance to discover all sorts of student organizations at Purdue. As I have not yet triumphantly/abundantly returned to campus, you’ll have to read about the great job the two of them did over on Ryan’s blog.