Rowan Improfs host Night of Laughs

Endless Crablegs members Red Paleski and Matt Orfe perform at their show in the Chamberlain Student Center. - Staff Writer/Vince Ceraso

On Sunday, March 31, Endless Crab Legs, a student improvisational comedy group, put on a hilarious, gut-busting performance in front of a few dozen students eager to laugh. The show was held in the Student Center Pit on a small stage.

Endless Crab Legs is a small spin-off group of the improv comedy club, Rowan Improfs. It’s not uncommon for members of the club to form separate groups and do their own shows, but every year in late April the Improfs host an even bigger show in the Chamberlain Student Center featuring all the club members and in front of an even larger audience.

What makes improv comedy shows so entertaining is the amount of audience participation. The hosts of the show will often ask the audience to provide a word or a phrase, then the actors would have to act out a scenario based on whatever the audience said. It makes for more spontaneous and often explosive performances.

During the show, Endless Crab Legs staged several improv acting exercises for the viewers. Some of the games included were World’s Worst, Two Line Vocabulary, Director, Freeze, Good Bad Ugly, Whose Line, Half-Life and New Choice. While all of these games encouraged audience interaction, the most memorable was Whose Line.

Prior to the show, event-goers were given pens and paper and asked to write any sentence they wanted. During the given scenario, the actors would have to read the sentences aloud and go from there. Some of them were rather tame, but others were very risqué and that’s what made the scenarios even funnier.

“I enjoy [improv comedy] because I’ve always enjoyed performing and acting ever since I was a little kid,” said Denis Long, a sophomore history and secondary education major. “Comedy is just something I feel like I’ve kind of excelled in. I like being silly!”

Long is one of the actors of Endless Crab Legs and is a member of Rowan Improfs. Another member of both groups is undeclared sophomore Ian Pierce.

“My favorite part of performing improv comedy is how it’ll be different every time,” Pierce said. “You’ll never see exactly the same thing twice. It could be the same game and people playing it, but it’ll be wildly different
every time you see something.”

The host of the event was Devon Torres, a junior public relations and advertising major. He is also a member of Endless Crab Legs and Rowan Improfs.

“Sometimes jokes hit and some of them miss, but the ones that really stand out are some of the ones that we carry on to inside jokes,” Torres said. “That’s probably my favorite thing: the overall hit of a nice joke.”

At Rowan Improf meetings, the funniest lines spoken at each meeting are written on a blackboard and discussed about at the end of the night. It’s a good way for members, especially newcomers, to take note.

“[Improv] is just so spontaneous,” said Red Paleski, a junior computer science major and member of both groups. “I love the fact that there’s nothing holding you back from making a good scene and to put yourself into everything you do. Those nights where you get to just really perform and be yourself in front of a crowd with no script holding you back.”

The Rowan Improfs meet every Monday in Bunce Hall 131, as well as alternating between Tuesday and Wednesday every other week in Bunce Hall 107.

For questions/comments about this story, email or tweet @TheWhitOnline.