Seated in a chair across from a glaring Ed Elson ’17, Michael Codrington ’18 tried to look nonchalant while Paige Morss ’17 pretended to give birth to a half-pelican Nick Demetroulakos ’19, who was wildly flapping his arms and jumping erratically. This scene was part of an improv game “Why Were You Late to Work?” in which Codrington attempted to piece together a story the other actors were miming to explain to his boss why he was late to work.
This game was part of a show hosted by Under the Bed (UTB) last Friday in Susie’s. Their show primarily consisted of members of the troupe playing classic improv games.
“I think it’s exciting to be on stage without any preparation or any agenda. It’s scary at first, when I first joined the group, to be in front of a crowd, completely exposed, with no idea [what] I’m going to be performing about. But that’s what makes the experience so fun, because we’re all in it together. We all try and help each other create something funny and entertaining and something that makes sense of the weird world we live in that is Andover,” said Elson.
“Hot Life,” a spin-off of one of UTB’s most well-known improv games, “Half-Life,” was played for the first time at UTB’s show. The game involved three members, Sam Bird ’18, Rhea Chandran ’19, and Ace Ellsweig ’18, eating habanero peppers while acting out a two minute scene, which was compressed into half of the previous length each time. All three of the participants ended up not being able to finish the game due to the spiciness of the peppers.
“The habaneros were not properly thought through. It was a case of misinformation and we were not aware of exactly how hot they were going to be, but everyone in the end was okay. There were no ambulances called and after about 20 minutes, everyone was totally fine and came back onstage,” said Morss, co-head of UTB.
The rest of the show went smoothly and incorporated several audience-favorite games such as “Party Quirks,” in which three “party-attendees,” were given weird obsessions or hobbies by the audience to portray. As the “party-host,” Sam Korman ’18 tried to guess what each of their guests were as hints were dropped throughout the skit.
“It was really funny to see our freshman, Harry Kahane [’20], try and be someone who was obsessed with Beanie Babies because he was too young to remember them so he was pretty much going in blind. It was hilarious. He made a great joke about bidding for Beanie Babies, which made everyone laugh even though in reality, he had no idea what they were,” said Morss.
Another popular game with the crowd was “The Bachelor.” Demetroulakos, Ian Hurley ’19, and Charlie Mayhew ’18 each tried to woo Eastlyn Frankel ’18 in this section of the show. Each of the boys came up with an alternate persona determined by audience input and had one date to win Frankel’s love.
“I thought the UTB’s ‘Bachelor’ sequence was really funny mostly because of Dr. Doofenschmirtz, which was played by Nick. Seeing him and Eastlyn dating and watching him hold her hand really weirdly and pretending to shake super badly just made the entire crowd scream. It was a newer UTB skit and was interesting to see,” said Max Rigby-Hall ’18, an audience member.