It was 8 p.m. on the Saturday of Halloweekend, and the Arellano Theatre was buzzing with a bright, relaxed energy as the audience waited for the show to start. I saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, and I wasn’t surprised. The beauty of improv is that you never know what to expect each time, and the comic chaos that the Buttered Niblets (Nibs for short) create on stage every show keeps you coming back for more.
Stomp, stomp, stomp. The lights started dimming. If you have been to their shows before, you’ll know the Nibs are ready to take the stage when you hear the heavy stomping. Then they run on stage, prepared to take on the challenge of cracking the audience up with the most absurdly funny jokes. I really appreciated that this time, the Nibs decided to fling handfuls of candy into the audience as their little treat for us on Halloweekend.
The show started off with some short-form games, a set of games that were each about five minutes long. The Nibs took turns sharing jokes about the world’s worst lawyer (“Objection! Those were all facts!”), and then shared puns about words chosen by the audience. Every single Nib on stage brought their own unique flavor of humor.
Then they moved on to my favorite part of the show: long forms! These games last a lot longer than the short forms, which let the Nibs work on building a narrative when playing each game and gives them more time to develop their characters. I loved seeing how each of the Nibs chose to do this.
Two book nerds falling in love at a library. A plumber, a violent person, a self-obsessed person and the director’s ex-wife auditioning for a role in a movie about the director’s life. An arsonist and their partner whose hobby is the cause of water damage, both parents of balding children, in a session with their marriage counselor. There is really nothing you can’t expect to see at a Buttered Niblets improv show.
Genres, Half-Life, Closed Quarters and Weekend at Bernie’s were just some of the games the Nibs played at their show. And turns out, comedy wasn’t the only skill of the Nibs.
During their Q&A-esque section, one troubled audience member asked a question that most of us here at Hopkins have probably asked ourselves once before.
“Should I drop premed?”
One very wise Nib on the panel told them that they should’ve already done it. That’s some high-quality advice right there if you ask me.
Of course, the show wrapped up with the game that all new Nibs play at their first show: the Bucket of Death. One of the new Nibs would have their head under a bucket full of water, while the other two acted out the scene. They would have to take turns switching places when the person with their head underwater could no longer hold their breath.
It was hilarious watching them act out a scene at the Colosseum (yes the Colosseum, courtesy of a very creative audience member), heads dripping, trying their very best to “logically” reason out why they suddenly disappeared and were soaking wet when they re-entered the scene.
Overall, I loved the chaotic, light-hearted energy — it’s a hallmark of every Nibs show! On the Nibs’ stage, anything is possible, and you get to lay back, get in touch with your crazy, silly side, laugh out loud and have a good time. You can expect every show to be something completely new, and I’d say going to the Nibs’ show is a pretty solid way to spend your Saturday night.