Bad Astronauts Kick Off the New Year with a Bang

Yves Nguyen, Staff Writer

A slight departure from their usual performances in the DAC Coffeehouse, the Bad Astronauts performed in a small, dimly lit room in Marillac, but their improv show impressed, leading to roaring laughter, as per usual. On Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. the Bad Astronauts, St. John’s Improv Club, hosted their first improv show of the year in Marillac 427 or what member Adam Rudy called “a utility closet.”

People lined up outside the door and patiently waited as the Bad Astronauts finished rehearsing and getting pumped before the start. The room quickly filled with laughter as the show began.

“They’re funny, and I like funny things, and I need that right now because midterms,” Trey Wallace, junior Psychology major, said about why the room was packed on a rainy Thursday night.

The Bad Astronauts played five improv games including; “Freeze,” “Half-life,” “Sentences,” “Four Square” and “Backspace,” which emphasized audience interaction.

In “Freeze,” two actors start an improvised scene in random positions, and at any point in time another player can yell freeze. This player then tags out one of the actors, and takes their place.

Both players then start a new scene, justifying their positions. The Bad Astronauts asked for audience suggestions for body positions, and they chose “starfish” and “swinging a golf club” as the starting positions. Ridiculousness ensued leading to quotes such as, “I don’t need twenty honey glazed hams, but you do” and “Just give me a eucharist real quick” from members.

The Bad Astronauts flexed their ability to include the audience in “Half-life” by basing the entire scene off of the tweet “Let’s get this exam over with” from audience member, Crystal Simmons.

In “Half-life” the actors create a scene in two minutes and then perform that same scene over and over again in one minute, thirty seconds, fifteen seconds and lastly five seconds. This game kind of blows up towards the end, but makes for a hilarious experience. San Diego, Sunset Cliffs and Earth Day were the basis for the game “Sentences” where two actors randomly include pieces of dialogue written by audience members on little strips of paper. This was particularly messy given its unpredictable nature, but nonetheless funny.

The fourth game, “Four Square,” was an audience favorite. Wilbert Turner III, junior Journalism major, specifically pointed out this game. “I really enjoy their Four Square act, which is where they have four different scenes going on simultaneously. It’s pretty dynamic,” he said.

The fifth and last game, “Backspace,” ended the show with a bang, and was also an audience favorite. In “Backspace,” the actors start with a scene and the other players can tag them out at any time with the caveat that each new scene must take place further in the past than the previous scene. At this show, the Bad Astronauts ended in the Paleolithic and Biblical eras.

“My favorite scene… I probably have to say the last one because I really appreciated the biblical humor,” Jeremiah Smith, junior Toxicology major, said. Smith also noted that he “always enjoys coming out to the improv show.” Crystal Simmons, junior Enterprise Regulation major, positively promoted Bad Astronauts’ shows saying that “It’s just a really interesting way to spend your weeknights, especially during this stressful midterm season.”

So if you concur this is only the first show of the year, and there will be many more to come.