Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 11, 2023

Buttered Niblets bring new talent to showcase

By NATALIE BERKMAN | October 29, 2008

Last Friday night, the Buttered Niblets put on a "Whose Line is it Anyway" for Hopkins students. The Buttered Niblets are the best improvisational comedy group on campus. They are widely accepted as "the best" because even though they are the only improvisational comedy group on campus, they are hilarious nonetheless. The Buttered Niblets would undoubtedly win in a show-down if another improvisational comedy group were to appear.

Everyone seemed to agree that the show was well worth the $1 donation since the theater was packed. The improvisational comedy sketches were punctuated with their new members' journeys to overcome their fears because, according to junior Eric Levitz, "In order to be a Buttered Niblet, you can't be afraid of anything."

The veteran Niblets performed six improvisational comedy sketches. At the suggestion of an audience member, the first game took place in a hostel. The Niblets then changed the genre of the scene based on other audience suggestions drawn from a hat. Awkwardly but effectively, they acted in porno, a children's television show, an apocalyptic thriller and more. After, they moved on to "World Championships," a game in which the Niblets portrayed the championships of an absurd sport suggested by audience members - manure shoveling. Sophomore Remy Patrizio and junior Kempton Baldrige shoveled manure while Levitz and sophomore Jeremy Bremer commentated. It quickly turned into one of the funniest skits of the evening when the two "competitors" began to shovel manure at each other. At the end, Kempton was disqualified for using laxatives and Patrizio was declared the winner. The sketch ended with Patrizio's motivational speech for girls wanting to pursue a career in manure shoveling.

After the laundry-room based sketch "Schizo," the audience met the three new Niblets attempting to overcome their fears. The first, freshman Mike Zaccardo, was afraid of women. To help him, the other two practiced conversations with him, ultimately ending in song.

Next, the audience participation was furthered with monologues. In fact, the audience was involved quite a bit. Special guest Rajiv Mallipudi stepped on the Arellano stage and told a story from his "actual life." The Buttered Niblets then proceeded to act it out. His stories involved drugs, police, outdoor sex, a girl stuck on top of a fence and medical school representatives.

They acted out a scene in which two people were having sex, had to run from the police, one got stuck on a fence, and then a Harvard med school representative caught them.

They continued with several other parodies of that story and ended with a bear, about which Mallipudi had no more anecdotes, so another audience member talked about his fascination with bear skin rugs. Needless to say, the monologue skits were hilarious.

The monologues were followed by the new Niblets again, this time fighting freshman Danny Kaplan's fear of groups. In order to do this, they broke the fourth wall again and had the Niblet talk to the audience, which was strange. They ultimately resolved everything with a group hug.

The fifth sketch was called "Scripts" and it consisted of two people interacting, but senior Oleg Shik could only speak his character's lines in order from a script (that was carefully chosen by an audience member). This all took place on a "playground" and it was a dialogue between two eight-year-olds.

However, the script was very dramatic for elementary school students, so as the lines from the script progressed, the other "kid" got more and more angry. The final sketch was based on some German play and consisted of two people on stage where one would leave and be replaced by another. Each change was linked by one character. In this sketch, they made fun of Russian novels, bad accents, the economy and more.

Finally, they three new Niblets resolved to help freshman Ian White get over his fear of Eli Whitney. They take "time travel pills" and try to stop Whitney from stealing Ian's great-great-great-great-grandfather's (plus or minus a few greats) giant chicken. However, they were really just taking drugs and ended up crashing a costume party.

Overall, the Buttered Niblets broke the fourth wall and had fun doing it. They introduced some new members, tried them out, and had some fun with that too.

They have another show in December, and it's sure to be a riot.

You can't even rent a movie for a dollar anymore, but you can see the improvisation of the Buttered Niblets right here on campus, and you may even get to be part of the joke.

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