Vouching for a new Comedy Troupe

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Photo by Suzanna Creasey

This school year kicked off with flying cheerleaders, ziplining stunts and pounding drums at the Loyalty Day Assembly. The Student Association Board cracked a slew of puns that came Fermata Nowhere, seniors chanted for themselves as per usual and the gym overflowed with green and gold. However, a missing piece in the puzzle of back-to-school spirit stuck out:

Comedy Troupe was nowhere to be found.

In their latest performance at the 2017 Pride Assembly, Comedy Troupe made jokes which some viewed as offensive toward minority groups. A remark about the lengthy LGBTQ+ acronym, mysticizing skits about the gender-neutral bathroom and imitations of our own Glenbrook North cafeteria workers prompted a quiet chorus of nervous laughter, scowls and murmurs to friends.

This muted discord morphed into an uproar as students complained and faculty sent letters to the administration, which decided last May that Comedy Troupe would be postponed until further notice. As of the time this issue went to press, no decisions on whether Comedy Troupe will return or when it will return have been made yet.

But in the aftermath of the performance, did anyone take note of the simple fact that all but one member of Comedy Troupe graduated last year? Now we, the current students, face the consequences for their actions. The previous Comedy Troupe members neglected to respect minorities, but should their exit from the gym stage translate into punishment for regular fans and incoming freshmen who have never experienced the Troupe at all?

Past insensitive or lackluster performances do not shine a spotlight on the type of content the next generation of comedians could create, so this one group’s performances shouldn’t be the tipping point for which we all fall. If we don’t expect our sports teams to always be victorious, or our singers to always be on pitch, we cannot expect Comedy Troupe to always be perfect. Learning and maturing is a part of the high school experience, and the only way for Comedy Troupe to do so is if the new cast learns from the past and takes advantage of a new opportunity to reestablish the Comedy Troupe name. By putting their content under a more critical lens before showtime, they can prove themselves worthy of an assembly performance that fills the gym with laughter once more.

But they were cut short before the audition.

The 2016-2017 Troupe didn’t just cross the line, they left it in the dust. But the line is an abstract idea: easy to redraw and respect. And who better to take the pen than an almost entirely new cast of Troupe members?

Although often loved for pushing the boundaries, the new Comedy Troupe must learn to steer clear of the line, not cross it.

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Vouching for a new Comedy Troupe