Nonsense Humor Magazine took their comedy writing skills to the stage on Friday night at the Nonsense Variety show, showing off their stand-up, skits and musical talents as they flexed their performance muscles in the Guthart Cultural Center Theater.
“We’re going to the National Intercollegiate Humor Conference at Princeton next week and they do something similar,” said Ashley Vernola, the assistant editor-in-chief of Nonsense. “And we’ve been doing open mics, so we thought we would fundraise for that trip and people could come support us.”
The staff of Nonsense are all writers, so they don’t usually get the chance to try out their jokes in front of a live audience.
“We needed an event to perform at,” said Zach Johnson, the co-editor-in-chief. “We do a lot in print but don’t really have a way to do that, and so many of our members love to perform.”
The performances covered a spectrum of comedy. Spencer Thurmond and Ben Fletcher entertained the audience with their stand-up sets and Quin Asselin did some interpretive karaoke. Jesse Saunders explained what you should and should not get her for her birthday in her segment “It Is My Birthday (It Is Not): A Gift Giving Guide” right after James Sweeny ate a handful of hot sauce in his game of chance, called “Agony Wheel.” There were group productions too – Victoria Jenkins and Emily Hart put on a magic show, with Jenkins playing a magician who just wanted to do a cartwheel and Hart as her exasperated assistant. Matthew Tanzosh, Veronica Toone and Gillian Pitzer serenaded the crowd with their original songs before taking suggestions and making up new material on the spot.
Nonsense’s newest issue came out last week and it was timed so that readers of the “Fake News Issue” would know about the variety show at the same time.
“We’re trying to show what we’re capable of,” Vernola said. “We’re trying to expand and become a more multimodal club and prominent on campus.”
Audience participation was also a big part of a few acts. Asselin, Fletcher and Ariel Leal’s comedic business proposals asked for donations, Thurmond’s stand-up set was a series of “Would You Rather” questions and Tanzosh, Toone and Pitzer’s musical set had the crowd wave lighters in the air for their closing ballad. There was also a raffle, in which the player had to win a game of rock, paper, scissors to pick their prize. If they lost, the prize was chosen for them.
“This is the strongest the magazine has been in a while,” said co-editor-in-chief Heather Levinsky. “It’s great that we found a way that we can showcase that.”