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September 25, 2023

Stand-up Comedy Club dresses up for Halloween

By BINYAMIN NOVETSKY | November 7, 2019

Courtesy of Binyamin Novetsky

The Hopkins Stand-Up Comedy Club rocked the house this past Saturday night with their annual Halloween show, this year titled “Halloween 2: Electric Spookaloo.” The show featured nine members performing sets of five to 10 minutes. 

With Arellano Theater filled to its maximum capacity, the event bustled with excitement.

Club President Amani Nelson started the show off excellently with an insightful segment about being multiracial, as she informed the audience of her black, white and Korean grandparents. She joked about how her white grandfather feels the urge to teach her how to sail, something that she thinks might not sit well with other parts of her lineage. 

Then, Nelson discussed the power rush she felt when her mother found her brother’s Juul and asked what it was. Initially she considered lying to save her brother, but upon remembering that he had unacceptably eaten her leftovers from the night before, she chose to rat him out instead.

Nelson was followed by Club Secretary Harry Kuperstein, who was dressed as a prototypical American dad, mustachioed and wearing a shirt instructing everyone to stay away from his daughter. 

He brought the house down with his material about how he’s the laughing stock at his job because he doesn’t know how to use a fax machine. But of course, his boomer co-workers take no shame in the fact that they had to go to the Apple store because they managed to delete their camera apps. 

After Kuperstein was sophomore Kyra Rothwell, who was performing for the first time. She discussed the irony of visiting the zoo with young children on Halloween. Parents, she noted, seem to encourage their children’s fears of ghosts and vampires, but not the nearby bears and tigers at the zoo. The animals are not looking at your children because they look cute in their costumes, Rothwell explained, but because they look delicious.

Next was junior Alex Hecksher Gomes, wearing a shady trench coat full of shiny goods, which represented the “bargaining” phase of grief. Hecksher Gomes’ impressions of himself were hysterical right out of the gate, after he furiously berated himself for losing a game of rock-paper-scissors. 

His discussion of what he would do as an authoritarian dictator and how he would pump himself up as one was also an absolute hit with the crowd.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” Hecksher Gomes said. 

Karan Dhareshwar, a graduate student also making his debut on the comedy scene, went next. His jokes about going to school and drinking at dive bars in India were great, though not as great as his tales of calculating how much time he would have alone to masturbate while his mother went out to get groceries on an old computer with slow internet. The computer in question was, of course, the family desktop.

Next came freshman Owen Welsh, another first-time performer dressed in a green costume that, with his bright red hair, could have been either Peter Pan, Robin Hood or really any of a number of other options. He talked about being half American and half British, which in his words made him “100-percent colonizer.” His story about kicking a kid out of a park for daring to play Pokémon while Welsh and his friends were playing Yu-Gi-Oh was definitely one of the highlights of the show.

After him came junior Akhil Kapoor, who joked about being a child who grew up around Hopkins. He thinks his parents took him on walks through campus as a child hoping he would absorb the intelligence around him. He clarified that it didn’t work, though, since he still chose to come here willingly.

The next performance was from junior Ariella Shua, covered nearly head-to-toe in one giant CVS receipt. She discussed her friend “Chrystal” who just got engaged to a boy named Jared — she afforded her friend a pseudonym, but joked that she didn’t care if the audience knew her fiancé’s name — and how the engagement announcement was in many ways similar to someone’s coming-out. Shua role-played her conversation with Chrystal, switching between the two sides of the conversation.

“I’m still the same person!” Chrystal tried to explain in vain. 

“Are you sure this isn’t just some college phase?” Shua asked in return. 

The back-and-forth had the crowd falling out of their seats in laughter.

Finally came senior Abby Johnson, dressed as 10-year-old Little Red Riding Hood, accompanied by her trusted bloody axe. She went through her classical 16th-century German folktale, mocking the classic storyline and describing in vivid detail the anatomically correct male wolf genitalia that little Hood saw when her grandmother got out of bed. 

All of this was after describing the “redecorating” her grandmother had done, breaking the windows, tearing the door off the hinges and leaving a pool of blood on the floor, which were all aesthetic choices that she was very pleased with her grandmother for making.

“This was my second show ever as president of Stand-Up Comedy,” Nelson said. “And I’ve been really encouraged by the newcomers in the club working so hard and the amazing group of people who make the shows what they are. It really makes my job a lot easier.”

The show seemed to be a huge success — the performers were all fantastic, and the jokes were just very funny. All in all, “Halloween 2: Electric Spookaloo” was a great achievement, and I look forward to the next show from the Stand-Up Comedy Club.

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