BY ANEESAH AKBAR
UHS students put on an exceptional performance in the first of eight monthly Comedy Sportz matches of the year on Friday, October 9. The Comedy Sportz High School League is the country’s largest improv organization for high schoolers.
This year’s new team members Max Cohen (Fr.), Rashan Ephrem (Fr.), Neman Erahi (Fr.), Charlie Feuerborn (Fr.), Vasiliy Bondarchuk (So.), Franklin Duffy (So.), Yasmin Nikroo (Jr.) and Jordan Bodie (Sr.) as well as returning players Laura Yang (Jr.) and Kerri Lutrell (Jr.) performed in the match’s opener.
Students played an improv game in which a subject suggested by the audience walks into a bar and is refused service. The players had to come up with a funny response for the subject to deliver.
Yamini Nambimadom (Sr.), who has been involved in Comedy Sportz since her sophomore year, said, “The group of people we have on the team this year is so passionate, hilarious, and genuine. I’m glad I get to be both friends and partners in entertainment with all of [the players] because they always make my day a little more fun!”
The main portion of show showcased the team’s returning players. During the first half, the red team, led by Riley Duncan (Sr.), included Brandon Kaufman (Jr.), Amina Khalif (So.) and James Gui (Sr.).
Noah Obstfeld (Sr.) led the blue team, whose members included Ellena Eshraghi (So.), Dylan Cecot (Jr.) and Dalton Nguyen (So.).
One of the blue team’s games involved its players picking up and reading mystery lines written on pieces of paper. At the end of a scene in which Obstfeld and Cecot pretended to be lost in the Bermuda Triangle, the audience burst into laughter when Obstfeld picked up a line and told Cecot, “I love you.” In the same scene, Eshraghi and Nguyen delivered priceless zombie impressions.
Friday was Eshraghi’s first time performing in an actual match. She said, “I am so blessed to be working with such incredible people while doing the thing I love most. Being onstage is one of the few times where I’m never nervous.” The score at the end of the first half was 10 points for the red team and 15 for the blue team.
A new group of students performed in the second half. The red team included Yamini Nambimadom (Sr.), Cassidy Haeri (So.), Francisco Lazo (Jr.) and captain Eli Tita (Sr.). The blue team included Corinne Alsop (Jr.), Tejas Dhindsa (So.) Anahita Amirshahi (So.) and captain Austin Barber (Sr.).
The red team played a game called Interrogation, in which two students play criminals and step outside while the other two students act as police officers and get the audience’s help in deciding what crime the criminals had committed. When the other two are brought into the “interrogation room” they must correctly guess their crimes to get in trouble. In this case, Tita and Haeri were arrested for eating bagels in Greenland with John Cena.
The match was entertaining through the last game, in which the objective was to make a pun out of a celebrity’s name, resulting in phrases such as “if I hit Daniel Day Lewis with my car, he would be called Daniel May Sue Us.” The match ended with 32 points for the red team and 40 for the blue team.
Returning player Haeri said of her experience, “I’ve made a lot of friends since joining [Comedy Sportz] and everyone on the team is really encouraging and makes me feel comfortable performing on stage.”
Since Comedy Sportz is completely improvisational, the jokes are not always successful, but watching fellow students come up with them on the spot and receive either laughter or a groan from the audience is part of the fun. Audience member Betty Fan (Jr.) said, “Being able to kick back after a long week of school and just listen to a bunch of your peers tell hilarious jokes is always the best. My friends and I laughed the night away and plan to go to many of their matches in the future.”