Last Friday — Groundhog’s Day Eve —  Improv group “Bad Grammer” put on an excellent Groundhog Day-themed show in the Pollack auditorium. Their Facebook promotional photo showed Mitchell Redfield ’20’s face on a groundhog, and when they bounded onto the stage, they announced that they would check Redfield’s shadow when the show ended. 

The show began inauspiciously; for audience members arriving early to Pollack, the doors were locked, leaving them to stand out in the cold. Eventually someone called over University police to unlock the door. However, that was soon forgotten once “Bad Grammer” arrived. They introduced themselves with gusto and wasted no time in kicking off their short-form improv games, starting off with “Cube.” Four performers stood in a square and whichever two were closest to the audience put on a scene based on a suggestion from the audience. The scenes were wonderfully ridiculous, ranging from gerbil funerals to a conversation between a bee and a flower. 

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TEAMWORK: Maya Satin ’19 and Sam Gelberg ’22 help each other create stories.

For the next game, three performers voiced each other’s characters —  a clumsy kid who broke a flamingo-patterned shower curtain, the kid’s grandfather and the shower curtain itself, whose ability to talk became part of the plot. After that came a love affair between a romantic English teacher and a lunch lady carried out while another performer sporadically yelled out changes in the location.

One of the highlights of the show was “Real Fake Cafe.” This game was a conversation between one real and one fictional person, but the catch was that the performers knew only who their counterpart was playing. The goal was to give the other performer enough hints for them to guess their character. By audience suggestion, the fake character was Michael Scott from “The Office,” and the real character was Ron Liebowitz. Kwesi Jones ’21, playing Michael Scott, started things off by crying “Roll ’Deis,” mentioning that Jason Kwan ’20’s Liebowitz was a busy guy and wondering if he would like to divest from fossil fuels. In his role as a waiter, Sam Gelberg ’22 helped the scene along by suggesting that Jones order “Scott”ch tape.

The show’s last short-form game was “Split Screen.” This game started with two performers on one side of the stage. When one left the stage, another performer would enter as that same character on the other side. The resulting scene depicted two kids being kidnapped, then killing their kidnapper and dumping the body into a lake. 

“Bad Grammer” ended the show with line games, in which the performers stand in a line and say witty one liners based on a theme. By request, the themes were “Sex with me is like…” and “Worlds Worst.” 

All of Bad Grammer’s sketches were unique and hilarious. The group members were magnificent both at integrating the audience into the show and adapting and playing off each other’s ideas. Here’s to six more weeks of improv.