And The Band Played On…

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1217090014Bwog 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.

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  1. I think  

    Orchesis was another house option. Though come to think if it it was probably whorechesis.

  2. bc  

    sure, barnard girls all have eating disorders. while this was going on we were all stuffing our faces at midnight breakfast.

  3. Anonymous  

    "This was a funny point, and maybe even slightly a half-legitimate one, with a sort of relevance that was too often lacking from the rest of the program."

    I'm sorry, but if you actually find eating disorder jokes (even slightly half-legitimately...what does that even mean, anyway?) funny, then that's pretty sad.

    Orgo Night just wasn't that great this year. The PrezBo jokes were funny and the music was good, but everything else just felt as though they couldn't think of anything creative to do. I thought that both of last year's were better.

  4. wait orgo night was last night  

    Man this finals schedule is screwy. Can someone link the transcript?

  5. Poker face  

    was awesome.

  6. Glad  

    I didn't show up this time. Had no idea Orgo Night sunk lower than the Varsity Show. The Barnard jokes are getting tired - go shill your lack of originality someplace else.

    • Well....  

      I wouldn't say it sunk lower than the varsity show. More like it was written in the STYLE of the varsity show. You know, a few funny jokes scattered throughout an otherwise boring show. Orgo night had its funny moments, but it had more than its fair share of bad jokes.

  7. nice picture of the event  


  8. cc'10  

    there were no real controversies this semester for it to be a genuinely entertaining orgo night. much like varsity show, orgo night lives off jokes from a scandalous semmy. we can only hope that spring 2010 provides some

  9. Let it be known  

    The Band's Poet Laureate (aka scriptwriter) goes to Barnard.

  10. last year's  

    orgo nights were significantly better. the punchlines took way too long to get to and were muddled in unnecessary jargon...that definitely was a mistake considering we're all sleep-deprived and are pretty slow to catch things during finals

  11. at least  

    the band is unanimous in their jokes...they make rude and otherwise inappropriate jokes, but at least they make fun of everyone.

  12. too bad  

    there weren't any real controversies this year. It's probably really hard to write humor when nothing ridiculous is going on.

  13. Hannah  

    "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 was a funny point, and maybe even slightly a half-legitimate one, with a sort of relevance that was too often lacking from the rest of the program."

    Peter, seriously? Half-legitimate? Um, okay.

  14. ummm  

    im pretty sure that there are just as many girls with eating disorders in cc as there are in barnard.

  15. Peter  (Bwog Staff)  

    There has been a misconception expressed in the comments that this post endorses the Columbia University Marching Band's satirical suggestion that many Barnard College students are afflicted by eating disorders. This is of course not the case, and the text of the post has been updated to more clearly reflect this. I apologize for the confusion.

    Peter Krawczyk

  16. hey bwog  

    why is a freshman writing the orgo night review? lame sauce.

  17. what on earth  

    i don't understand why more people aren't upset about the annie le joke. i heard someone say it was "too soon"-will it ever be appropriate? i don't think so. also, her fiance is a member of our community. it's sickening that this is being tolerated. the band should apologize.

  18. Imaginary Winged Piglet  

    "the band should apologize"? Seriously? Get in line with Fordham, West Point, Holy Cross, Rudy Giuliani, and everyone else who's ever been offended by the band's humor. The band has never pretended to be any more politically correct than it is (except to make fun of Barnard), so if you want politically correct, don't go to Orgo Night.

  19. lol

    For the houses, you could also do slither-in ;)

  20. vulgar humor doesn't make you funny  

    i thought the jokes were all very used and outdated. get some new material. the sarah palin concept has been done, and as for the whole "this year we're not making fun of barnard" well turns out you can't be funny unless you are constantly berating barnard. if columbia is so much better than why can't the marching band get some new creative material?

  21. Let's Face It  

    Let's face it, this semester has been extremely boring. Nothing has really happened on campus, so you can't blame the band for not having enough "relevant" material.

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