Tonight is the night before the organic chemistry final, and you know what that means. Yes: obscene humor, Barnard jokes, and chemistry word-play–all part of a typical Orgo Night. And that’s all this semester’s Orgo Night was: typical. However, it did have its entertaining parts, and it was a worthwhile Columbian experience, if only to say that you got to hear Barnard jokes in Butler.

The jokesters started off a little slow, and this slowness characterized much of the show, especially when compared to last semester’s performance, which was longer as well. The pair began making references to Deans and had a sly Varsity Show jab before moving on to cracking jokes about Bwog and Bwog commenters. These garnered laughs, but the main theme of the first act seemed to center around two controversial topics of the day: the Catholic priest molestation scandal and health care reform. The second topic’s story was based around Columbia enacting its own health care reform, and the audience seemed to receive this well. Again, there was your typical GS joke (Why is Health Services stopping coverage at age 26? “No one really cares about GS!”), but there were some better ones (CAVA will stop denying people due to pre-existing conditions, such as living in Carman).

As usual, the duo then continued lampooning current events. In this next segment, they managed to insult three major religions and joke about the crisis in Haiti, all while receiving the standard reaction of laughter-turned-groans from the audience. They then referenced Ahmadinejad’s recent return to the United States, asking why, if he hates America so much, he keeps visiting. This was craftily tied into a news topic of the day when it was announced that Ahmadinejad had just finished watching a Broadway play when he was shocked to discover his green 1998 Nissan Pathfinder was towed and Times Square cleared out. (To his credit, “bombs come standard” in Iran.)

Next, they talked about Columbia being ranked as the No. 2 most stressful college in the nation, to which 209 erupted with a prideful cheer. If you were waiting for the part where they mention other Ivies, here it was. They joked about how different Ivies cope with stress: “Brown has pass/fail; Princeton has racism”–all themes we’ve heard before. They finally reached Cornell, where the majority of their jokes involved puns such as “head over heels” or “hitting rock-bottom,” clearly referencing the recent tragedies at the university. The audience seemed to agree that this came a little too soon, only mildly chuckling at these puns. And to the band’s credit, perhaps they were showing some sensitivity, and did not have anything outstandingly and blatantly insulting–unlike how they treat, say, Barnard.

They ended with your characteristic comparison of the College, SEAS, and Barnard, framed around what the class of 2010 will be doing after graduation–the CC grad has an unpaid internship; the Barnard grad is married to an 80 year old. This segment perhaps produced the biggest laugh of the night, thanks to a vocal audience member. After the performer said that the SEAS graduate is laying in bed with a bombshell of a woman, a male (presumably SEAS student) in the audience gave a large cheer. The joker responded, “…At least that’s what she’s programmed to be,” causing the heckler to be rightfully humiliated and the audience to roar with laughter.

While the jokes tonight weren’t necessarily fresh, Orgo Night succeeded in doing what it has always done: provide a sense of community. Even though we’ve heard all too much that SEAS students don’t get laid, there’s something about hearing the fact that SEAS students don’t get laid while crammed in Butler 209 with a bunch of friends and strangers that is special. And as is typical, Orgo Night managed to provide that special sentiment and was an enjoyable performance.

– DH