Jimmy’s pomp chameleon comedians

by Jason Madanjian / Beacon Staff • October 18, 2012

Jimmys ally1
Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars showcased its work in the Cabaret.
Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars showcased its work in the Cabaret.

A seemingly innocent game of Simon Says takes a dark turn. “Wiggle your bottoms,” commands the instructor as confused, shirtless boys obey.

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the Emerson comedy troupe Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars presented their show “BOOOOOOOObs” in the Cabaret. The hour-long sketch show encompassed many genres of comedy, from slapstick to satire. 

“We are all very diverse,” said Jordan Perry, sophomore visual and media arts major and the group’s vice president. “No two Jimmys are alike and each sketch is completely different.”

Perry said he is particularly proud of the sketch “Bad Drug Dealer,” which he pitched and helped write. It centers on a morally obligated narcotics seller who provides his customers with not only dope, but life lessons.

“Stay abstinent, your body is a temple,” pleaded the preachy pill pusher, as bewildered customers paid their supplier. 

Other sketches exploited the physical boundaries of comedy. 

In the act “Deaf Cop,” sophomore acting major Reyn Beeler played the titular policeman, who recklessly shouts at suspects whose answers he cannot hear.

“Can you even read lips or something,” questions a frightened suspect during a disastrous interrogation. “It’s about 10:15,” said the inept official.

“It requires the actor to go all out in an absurdist kind of way,” said Beeler. “I thought I was going to terrify the [audience], scare them as opposed to making them laugh with my brash, aggressive yelling.”

Jimmy’s eclectic team of writers and performers created a kaleidoscopic medley of jokes.

“We’re very hard to nail down because we know people have different senses of humor,” said sophomore visual and media arts major Charlie Fay, a member of the troupe.

A video sketch entitled “Why Willem Doesn’t Write Sketches” spotlights another style of comedy: poking fun at taboo topics. The film portrayed freshman troupe member Willem Smith’s desperate attempt at a Jimmy’s pitch meeting to sneak a racial slur in a sketch. 

“Everything’s fair game,” said Perry. “As long as it’s funny.”

Senior visual and media arts major and troupe member Jeremy Sender agrees that humor is subjective, and that Jimmy’s strives for a variety of sketches no matter the subject, as long as it makes them laugh.

“The goal is to have something for everyone,” said Sender.