Alfred & Seymour: Who says stands-up comedy has to stand still?

Who says stand-up has to stand still?” The dynamic duo, Alfred and Seymour, also known as the “Blackstreet Boyz” or “Hip-Hop Teletubbies,” perfectly portratCan you imagine Dean Beckwith doing the pelvic thrust onstage? Well, that happened when performed a side-splitting hip-hop comedy act in Kemper auditorium. The dynamic duo combined jaw-dropping break dancing with stand-up comedy, providing and incorporating the audience into an unforgettable night of entertainment. One of Alfred and Seymour’s favorite mottos is, Mrs. Efinger, director of student activities, discovered Alfred and Seymour at a conference. She witnessed the pair perform for a college, and she figured if the college students all loved them, why wouldn’t Andover students? Well, she was right: As Olamide Babutunde ‘09 said, “I feel like student activities really stepped it up this time; that was one of the funniest shows I’ve seen. Ever.” From the very beginning, Alfred and Seymour incorporated the audience into their act by making them the butt end of their jokes. They questioned almost every person who came late, and when one latecomer replied, “I had a date,” Seymour quickly responded, “Had a date? Well that obviously didn’t go too well.” Their slightly inappropriate remarks went to the next level when another student walked in with his hands in his pockets and Alfred immediately said, “Take your hand out of your pockets man. Entertainment’s up here.” When asked about how he felt about being put into the spotlight by the two jokesters, Ben Elder ’09 replied, “It may have been awkward had I been the only one picked on, but they were making fun of a lot of people so it was funny.” After some break dancing moves, mixed with parodies of ballet, disco and folk dancing, the two comedians invited Flagstaff cluster dean Clyfe Beckwith up on stage. The trio appropriately named, “Oreo cookie,” played rock and roll on long pool noodles, their replacement “guitars.” Next, to the audience’s surprise, the twosome taught Beckwith hip-hop moves such as the head nod, full-body wave and even the pelvic thrust! He performed each technique with such ease and attitude. The setting for the next comedic act was in Hollywood. The short skit involved Alfred, playing the role of Officer Dick, harassing Seymour for driving 55mph in a 55mph zone. In the middle of the act, Evan Hawk ’08 felt inspired, stood up and abruptly began dancing along to the music. The comedians, quick on their feet in response to such an odd occurrence, seemed to be just as astonished as the audience, commenting, “Well folks, I can honestly say that this has never happened before.” Afterwards, Alfred and Seymour invited Siobahn Alexander ’08 up onto the stage to take some photos with them. Alfred told her, “I need you to back up a little. I’m still on probation.” After taking a couple of pictures, Seymour threw the camera to Alfred, who missed it. The audience watched in silence as the stunned Alexander repeatedly muttered “Oh my god.” However, Seymour soon pulled the real camera out of his pocket, telling the audience that they all just got “Punk’d.” The comedians brought students off of their seats and onto the stage to “get crunk.” This was essentially a miniature “dance-off” competitions, seeing who got the best audience reaction. Ben Laccetti ’08 and Evan Hawk ’08 performed an intimate dance together. Then, Chris Bramwell ’07 boldly danced over to Seymour, taking off Seymour’s hat, sniffing it and throwing it to the ground in repulsion. By the audience’s applause, Bramwell won that round. Hailee Minor ’08 and Jane White ’08 moves impressed the audience even more. The competition concluded when Mike Tully ’07 sat Seymour down in a chair and danced around him in circles. Some of the jokes that Alfred and Seymour made may have been controversial, making light of serious issues such as race, stereotypes and even making fun of the audience. For example, the comedians referred to Dean Beckwith’s hair as a “convertible haircut.” Furthermore, when Evan Hawk ’08 finished dancing, the duo called him “gay.” Finally, they made stereotypical jokes such as, “You can’t catch me. I know you’ve seen the Olympics.” However, after watching the entire show one would realize these jokes were not intended or received as offensive, but rather instructive. The comedians said that “We’d always wanted to be comedians.” At first, they hit a few bumps with racial jokes, but later incorporated them into moral and life lessons. By using humor, they taught the audience valuable lessons to remember for the real world. For example, they stated, “People blame race and gender for what they don’t have, but it’s actually a lack of knowledge on their part. Read! R-E-E-E-D!” Finally, the hilarious duo ended with, “We make a lot of jokes about race and gender, but really we need to understand that we are all one race: the human race.” The show received only positive reviews from students. Tina Kit ’09 commented, “I laugh a lot, but this time I was really on the edge of my seat. My throat hurts from laughing.”