The scene was set. A crowd of frantic people had just been told that a meteor was about to destroy earth, and there were only two people left who could be saved. Who would be the lucky two? Well, it would have to be the couple with dogs.
This punchline was the ending to a recurring sketch performed by the Emerson Comedy Workshop during its first show of the semester, “Emerson Comedy Workshop Ghost-Rides the Whip,” which took place last Thursday in the Cabaret.
Throughout the show, two characters kept running into a couple that claimed their superiority by saying, “But we have dogs!”
The sketch was written by Luke Palmer, a senior performing arts major. Palmer said the sketch was inspired by a real life encounter with a couple who waited for him to move out of the way before continuing on a walk with their dogs.
“That was when I had this crystallizing moment that people with dogs are awful,” Palmer said.
The sketch was one of many that were performed, with nearly every seat taken in the venue.
“I definitely think that this was one of our most complicated shows that we’ve done and certainly one of our weirdest shows,” Palmer said. “I think in terms of ambition though, and the fact that nothing went wrong, and considering that we were competing with three huge concert events that were going on the same day, that it went really well.”
Palmer also said that the variety of sketches performed led to the show’s success.
“That night we had husband and wife stuff, we had more experimental stuff, we had a recurring sketch—it was good,” he said. “It was a good mix of sketches.”
ECW President Andrew Coalson, a senior visual and media arts major, said that he thought the videos they made for the show, which included a sketch about Hitler, went particularly well.
“I really liked the videos. We had a kind of naturalistic feel this go around,” Coalson said. “We normally do a lot weirder things with it, so it was kind of cool.”
ECW added five new members to its troupe this year, including Eli Lutsky, who wrote the sketch, “Ghost Boat.”The sketch involved a couple that was supposed to be whale watching for their anniversary, but things took a turn for the paranormal when their captain and his crew kept alluding to things like ectoplasm and specters.
Coalson said the new additions have added a fresh dynamic to the troupe that has allowed them to grow.
“I love our new members,” Coalson said. “They’re all wonderful. They’re really nice and talented and really gung-ho.”
In regards to the new goals that ECW has for this year, Coalson said that he encourages the writers to create at least one sketch per week to keep their humor sharp.
“It’s just to encourage production and the more you have to work, the more you have to stretch your ideas, and it allows for wider creativity,” Coalson said. “I think maybe one thing we’ll work on this year is just really taking the time to focus on each sketch and letting them develop.”