On Saturday, March 10, Throat Culture hosted their semesterly 24-hour show in Arellano Theater. Each of the 10 sketches that they performed — poking fun at everything from vegans to defending one’s thesis to Throat Culture itself — were written, memorized and performed within the span of 24 hours.
“It really does all happen within 24 hours,” senior Kaylynn Sanders wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We’re only allowed to start writing a sketch at 8 p.m. on Friday night. We basically all meet up then and take over someone’s living room for the next six hours and crank out one or two hopefully solid sketches which we all help read through and workshop as we go along.”
Senior Joshan Bajaj elaborated on the challenges of putting on the show.
“The most difficult part of the show is memorizing all of the lines in such a short period of time. Since we don’t get much sleep, it’s made even harder, and so it’s important to know how to keep the sketch going during the show if you forget some lines,” he said.
The show began by poking fun at sketch comedy itself, as two members of the club — Sanders and freshman Shivani Pandey — escaped from backstage and revealed the dark inner workings of Throat Culture or, as they put it, Cult Throat-ure.
Sanders and Pandey laid out several of the group’s malevolent schemes, like funneling the dollar admission fee toward sating Bajaj’s obsession with skim milk, revealing their evidence on a whiteboard filled with references to the Antichrist and the Illuminati. All in all, a great way to start the show.
A later sketch cast Pandey as a doctoral candidate who, instead of defending her thesis with research and well-developed analysis, had to do so in a Miss Universe style pageant, complete with a talent portion (singing) and an evening wear runway walk set to a RuPaul song.
One sketch had rapper The Weeknd — played by junior Michael Feder — rant about his various problems, like not knowing how to spell “weekend” and that nobody had thought to tell him that being unable to feel one’s face is probably a serious medical condition. Toward the end of the sketch, Lil Yachty — played by junior David Gumino — wondered why nobody ever mentioned that a cello isn’t a woodwind instrument.
The group even managed to fit some impressive jokes into the shorter sketches peppered throughout the show. One of the biggest laughs of the night came when the group attempted to answer the question, “What happens if you touch MC Hammer?” with the titular musician played by sophomore Emma Shannon. The answer: Hammer, dead on the ground, as Bajaj warns the audience that “just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.”
Another short sketch focused on two otters — played by Bajaj and Gamino — desperately searching for a lost rock, all while narrated by a British documentarian played by senior Molly Young.
If it sounds odd, that’s because it was. But the final punch line, in which the documentarian admits that the fact that otters sleep holding hands with one another is, despite their previous statements to the contrary, a little gay, made the whole thing absolutely hilarious.
Some of the other sketches included a vegan discovering that milk comes from cows, members of a philharmonic orchestra engaging in some light locker room talk before a big performance and members of group therapy attempting to establish dominance over their new therapist.
Sanders also described the feelings surrounding the show.
“I’m always amazed at the magic of 24 hour shows. With the stress running a little high all day, and you pacing around the back up until the last millisecond polishing the lines in your head, when you finally get out there on stage and the audience is laughing it’s the best payoff in the world,” she wrote.
When asked about their favorite sketch of the evening, both Sanders and Bajaj chose the otter sketch written by Emma Shannon.
In the end, the spring 24-Hour Show was an exercise in strange, often surreal comedy, and despite the time constraint and the off-the-wall source material, Throat Culture crafted a thoroughly enjoyable and hilarious show.
The entire show can be found on the group’s YouTube page for anyone who didn’t get a chance to see it live. Throat Culture will be hosting its final show of the semester on Friday, April 13.