Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Seriously Bent places second in Nationals

Article by: Matt McQuaid

Improv comedy has been one of the main staples of funny business since the art form was invented.  Legendary comics such as Robin Williams and Stephen Colbert made appearances on the hit improv show Whose Line is it Anyways?, and many hit TV shows such as Reno 911! and Curb Your Enthusiasm rely on improv comedy to entertain their audiences.

For those not familiar with improv comedy, it’s a form of comedy where the actors create jokes as they go along, without scripts, props, or anything else other than their own creativity. Actors often create scenes by taking suggestions of random things (such as a place, occupation, famous person, etc.) from the audience, or by playing elaborate theatre games that turn into a scene.

Suffolk University has been blessed with its own gang of merry pranksters who practice the venerable art of making people laugh without a script, Seriously Bent. Seriously Bent won championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007, as well as a number of other awards throughout the years. After defending it’s title in the East Coast Regional Competition, the gang recently took second place at the National College Im prov Festival in Chicago. They competed against nine other schools, including the University of Southern California, Florida State University, Wheaton College, Oberlin College, and Northwestern University.

Although Seriously Bent came in second to The Titanic Player’s Daddy Mags out of Northwestern University, the scoring was the closest in the competition’s history, with the Titanic Player’s scoring 100 points to Seriously Bent’s 99.5. “We were all kind of frustrated, but it’s .5, it’s really nothing to be too bummed about,” stated cast member Christian Roberts. “I don’t think anything went wrong, we all agreed that we pretty much wouldn’t change anything. It’s really about having fun, at the end of the whole set we all had fun.”

One thing the crew noticed upon arriving in the windy city was that there were concrete stylistic differences.  “Chicago and Boston improv styles are somewhat different. And the games, the Chicago ones, were different,” Roberts remarked.  “Chicago style improv is much more improvisational theatre,” stated cast member Corey O’Rourke. “In Boston we focus more on improvisational comedy.”

The crew was also very pleased to be in Chicago, a city that has been crucial to comedy throughout the years. Seriously Bent stopped by to see performances by the Second City Improv Comedy Troupe, a legendary outfit who’s alumni include Stephen Colbert, Joan Rivers, and Saturday Night Live founding fathers Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, and Bill Murray.

“Even though we didn’t bring back the trophy, we brought back a different form of entertainment to show the Suffolk community,” Roberts remarked, “Having fun out there and watching those shows really helped us, maybe not necessarily in the competition but just in our attitudes.” O’Rourke was also enthused by seeing the performances out in Chicago, stating “Just being around where improv was founded, you watch something, it might not be the funniest thing or the best thing you’ve ever seen, but it makes you laugh….and that just makes you want to do that to your own audience.”

Seriously Bent will have a number of upcoming shows on campus throughout the semester. Their End of the Year review, a blend of sketch comedy and improv, will take place in April.

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Seriously Bent places second in Nationals