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!)