Bwog Sousaphone bureau chief Peter Krawzcyk stood on some poor first-year’s desk in 209 to attend this fall’s Orgo Night extravaganza.
This may come as a surprise to anyone of the several hundred that packed into a sweaty Butler 209 at midnight last night, but not everyone attended the fall iteration of the Marching Band’s semiannual Orgo Night performance on Wednesday. If you were too dedicated to studying, writing papers, your grades, your career, your sanity, and/or yourself to take an hour-long break in the name of Columbia spirit and comedy, you probably made the utility-maximizing decision (you econ major you) but you still missed a sometimes funny, if perhaps overly long show.
The show officially began just after 12:00 with the band marching into to the obligatory “Roar, Lion, Roar,” but the comedy started about half an hour earlier, when the Butler 209 began filling with boisterous expectant revelers, bewildering would-be diligent Literature Humanities studiers uninformed of the Orgo Night tradition, who desperately turned up their headphones as loud as they could before leaving to find shelter from the crowd. Post-fight song, the band kicked off the jokes by targeting PrezBo’s salary (“Do you know how hard it is to wake up in the morning knowing the President of the University of Tulsa makes more money than you?”) and recent 125th st.-Toast bar brawler Lionel McIntyre (His favorite building is Harmony, because “he likes having a building named after his baby mama.”).
After a musical interlude—the band played quite well, as far as this reviewer could tell—the band riffed on “The War on Christmas” at Columbia for a little bit, with varying success, blaming swine flu, Twilight, gender neutral housing, and the ubiquitous “safe space” signs. “Pink is not a Christmas color. Sure you’re an ally… of Satan.” The show then hit its low point with a too-long segment exploring the mystery of the death of the Columbia lion intended to poke fun at other Ivy League mascots. Even if anyone really cares about mascots—does anyone?—this segment was just too far-fetched to hit home, and included the most offensive joke of the night: “our case was tighter than a Yale student stuffed in an air duct.” The lone highlight here was the band’s take on the Princeton tiger, who “has a long, notoriously tense relationship with African-American mammals.”
The subject then switched to “SEAS boys,” whom the band purported to make fun of this year in the place of “Barnard girls. “The “Band,” in the story told by the Orgo Night MCs, was supposedly picked up in Butler by a SEAS boy using the pick up line, “Want to check out my Gateway Project?” After several jokes about the feminine nature of this “SEAS boy” it turned out he was a Barnard girl all along, leaving the audience laughing, but slightly confused. Had all the jokes been about Barnard? Unclear, perhaps, but it was well received by the audience.
After a diversion about Sarah Palin running for President of Columbia—hasn’t Sarah Palin been done to death yet?—the band continued with what seemed to be its greatest and most reliable comedic bit: Barnard College. This time the theme was Barnard’s drive to instill a sense of community concurrent with “the opening of its shiny new Vag.” Along these lines, Barnard will be placing incoming freshmen into “houses” by use of the “Placing Panties.” Names being considered for the houses include “Griffinwhore, Ravencunt, and Huffledouche.” Finally, the band touched on the new policy of mandatory meal plans for Barnard upperclassman: “What better way to build community than in a women’s restroom, where your entire student body will be when they shift from starving themselves to binging and purging?”
This joke succeeded because it was relevant to current issues on campus in a way much of the rest of the program wasn’t. We’ve already heard enough about PrezBo, other Ivies, and Sarah Palin. We want jokes that are fresh. It was altogether a good, not a great, Orgo Night, but was nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed by those who appreciate that sort of humor that likes to push boundaries simply for the sake of pushing boundaries.