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April 16, 2024

Buttered Niblets compete at Quickdraw show

By ANNE HOLLMULLER | October 20, 2016

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COURTESY OF LEON SANTHAKUMAR The Buttered Niblets competed against UMBC as part of the improv comedy show titled Quickdraw.

The Buttered Niblets, the University’s only improvisational comedy group, recently performed as a part of Quickdraw, an improv competition with other local colleges sponsored by the Baltimore Improv Group. For the performance last Thursday night, the Buttered Niblets faced off against University of Maryland Baltimore County’s (UMBC) Dog-Collar Comedy Troupe. The two groups played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Baltimore Improv Group’s space at Single Carrot Theatre in Remington.

The Buttered Niblets perform both long form and short improvisational comedy at three main shows and other additional events every semester. Last month, the group also had the opportunity to open for Eric Andre before his memorable appearance at the MSE Symposium event on Sept. 8.

On Thursday, the Dog-Collar Comedy Troupe from UMBC performed first and got the audience laughing with a series of hilarious improv exercises. The Buttered Niblets then performed, dazzling the crowd of college students and young adults with a blast of witty scenarios. Both groups then came together to perform a skit in which each of the group members could participate. The audience then voted as to which group had brought the most laughter, a playful competition that the Johns Hopkins team ultimately won.

Zeke Goodman, a senior member of the group, shared some of his experiences as a part of the Buttered Niblets with The News-Letter. Goodman felt that the opportunity to participate in a collegiate competition off-campus gave the Niblets valuable opportunities — a chance to perform with other improv groups in the Baltimore area, explore the Baltimore improv scene and gain more experience.

“I think we’re always excited to see other groups and perform outside of the Hopkins bubble... I think we see it as just another chance to play with some new people in a new place, which is not only a lot of fun, but [also] the best way for us to improve as a group.”

Goodman, who is majoring in anthropology and Writing Seminars, is also co-head writer of the sketch comedy group Throat Culture. As such, comedy is a very big part of his life at Hopkins. Goodman shared his thoughts about why he first joined the Butter Niblets and why he remains a devoted member of the group.

“When I was a freshman I saw the Nibs perform at the a cappella O Show and their first show, and something about what they were doing just spoke to me, I guess. What keeps me coming back is the joy and thrill that comes from doing it. There’s endless possibility on stage in improv; anything can happen. Being thrust into that situation and having to take things as they come and connect the dots is one of the most invigorating and satisfying things I’ve ever experienced.”

Goodman described the competition between the different college improv groups is a new innovation by the leadership of the Baltimore Improv Group.

“The competition is definitely new. It was the idea of the new director of the Baltimore Improv Group, Terry Withers, who just came down from the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. Terry just emailed us out of the blue and asked about the competition and was looking for more ways to get us involved with the improv scene in Baltimore.”

Goodman shared what he felt the Buttered Niblets had learned from their experience at the show last Thursday.

“I think Terry envisioned it as a way to get other schools in the area involved. Of course it’s always nice for us to meet people who do this at other schools, especially those around Baltimore.”

The Hopkins community has upcoming opportunities to see performances by the improvisational comedy team: The Buttered Niblets have another competition at Baltimore Improv Group on Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. and a second show of the semester on Nov. 4.


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