By Aaron Calvin
Last Thursday was the first time I attended Thursday Night Live. So, having entered Studio A with no previous episodes or performances to compare it to, I cannot call the most recent TNL anything surpassing mediocrity.
As something new to add, or perhaps just to catch a ride on his recent wave of publicity, TNL invited King d'Hofstra to the program. He certainly made it clear that, even though he had been unmasked, he still craved the attention of the student body.
Each sketch seemed to suffer from the same problem as the one preceding it. The writing was inconsistent at best, often straining for jokes that seemed to fall flat. Perhaps the jokes fell flat because the acting and interaction appeared forced and awkward. Or perhaps this is simply a directorial problem, as many of the sketches seemed to wander aimlessly.
While there were many faults, there were occasional glimpses of comedy. The shortest, but funniest, feature came at the beginning of the episode, mocking Hofstra's celebration of Black History Month by featuring a person who was dark skinned, but not black. This was where TNL hit its stride. They commented on subjects that may be sensitive, but readily apparent to most students, such as homogenous culture. Granted, these strides are hit and then quickly abandoned for physical comedy, including sketches based on puns and a fake news segment modeled poorly after Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. If TNL could push themselves to travel into news or sensitive territory, they might be able to strike a nerve while hitting the audience's funny bone.
In between sets of sketches and at the end of the program, the musical guest Casting Call performed. While technically talented, the band's brand of Long Island Emo would be more suited for 2005 when that kind of music was still popular.
All in all, last Thursday's episode was not the best way for TNL to start out the semester. However, there were slight glimmers of comedy and hopes for the future. I don't mean to put down the Thursday Night Live program just for the sake of putting them down. This is merely a call for the program to improve, as I am sure they are quite capable of doing so.