Friday, April 11, 2008

The skit hits the fan.

Readers of this site are likely familiar with the annual Best of College A Cappella compilation (BOCA)—the "Now That's What I Call Music" franchise of collegiate a cappella.

Less well known: In the late 90s there was a BOCA spinoff, "BOCA Humor: Wasting our parents' money." It was intermittently funny, featuring tracks like "Walk of Shame" from the Connecticut College Williams Street Mix. But the compilation didn't catch on, and BOCA Humor was left for dead.

Still, a cappella groups haven't ceased being funny, or at least trying to be funny. When I sang with Cayuga's Waiters at Cornell, we shot a 12-minute film for Spring Fever 2000. I say film because we actually shot it on film, with the help of a young wannabe director on campus. (This was before you could make a high quality movie with your cell phone. And, if I'm being totally honest, before most of us even had cell phones.)

I remember standing backstage the night of the concert, listening to the audience as the film unspooled. I'm sad to say that the laughs were few and far between. Or maybe I'm not sad, really, because we had fun making the thing. I mean, we shot a film! And we thought it was funny.

Which begs the question: What is the audience for an a cappella skit? The group itself? The fans? Both? And is there more to aca humor than merely name-checking the on-campus dining hall, which for some reason always gets a laugh?

Herein, a random sample of a cappella skits. You decide.

1. The Binghatmonics (famous alum: Ingrid Michaelson!) and the spring '08 skit:

2. Penn Masala's Facebook Skit of 2007:

3. The UVA Hullabahoos in "Worst Skit Ideas Ever." (They said it, not me!)


shane said...

Tigeroar had a great one when my group sang with them for one of their shows... it starts slow, but skip to 4:00... actually entertaining.

Ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted said...

Sorry about the deleted post..

Yea, the skit scene is always a kind of awkward one in my opinion. I'm in a different Binghamton group, but as far as the ones that show up on campus go, I think the ones that get the most response are the ones that have a cappella humor in them, because the audience is largely members of other groups/friends close enough to get the jokes. I personally like this Crosbys one, especially because their guy Jack is a cinema guy, so he does a great job at editing, something that usually tragically does wrong with these videos.