Bright lights sparkled down on the stage in the Red Door the night of Saturday, Sept. 17, for the Comedy Slam Fundraiser, hosted by the Muhlenberg Comedy Association (MCA). The shimmering disco ball reflected the excitement of the crowd. The audience was excited as people yelled words of encouragement. One audience member, Colin McCormack ’26, was asked, “Are you excited?” and he replied with enthusiasm, “Absolutely!” The crowd wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Everything but the stage was shrouded in shadow.
Songs from “Mamma Mia!” played, setting the energized tone for the night, while people sang along as they settled into their seats. Members of the MCA announced the coveted secret of the night: the goal of Sept. 17’s Comedy Slam. Christine Zak ‘23, co-president of the association, announced, “Tonight is a fundraiser for our future comedy event in November!” The audience cheered loudly. Coming Nov. 18 and 19, professional comedians as well as the MCA will perform and offer exclusive workshops to the student body. The events of the night included a plethora of auctions creatively planned by the MCA: $5 to pie a member of the group in the face, hot sauce shots to be consumed by the group once certain benchmarks were hit, a s’mores raffle, a meet-n-greet with the association’s own Nick Pierron ’24, a cameo made by Molly Levine ‘24 and Andrew Gordon ‘23 and $5 to draw a sharpie tattoo on Zak.
“It’s a load of fun. You get to see people get pied in the face.”– Nick Pierron ’24
Luke McIntyre ‘25 of the Muhlenberg Improv Association (MIA) told The Muhlenberg Weekly, “I’m happy to raise money for a really cool event.” Going off of that statement, Pierron commented enthusiastically, “It’s a load of fun. You get to see people get pied in the face.” Being part of the group of people getting pied, Pierron noted, “it’s worth it,” for the cause.
Zak stated, “To plan we sort of just asked each group to come up with ideas of things they could auction off. Then Taylor [Reed ‘23, MCA co-president] and I came up with some extra bits and pieces here and there and got supplies. The event was sort of a go with the flow kind of thing though. Waiting for someone to pay to pie a member of UiP [Underground improv Project], letting people roam around, doing live auctions when there was a lull in the action.”
Jaxson Goldsmith ‘23 was the first member of UiP to get pied. He stepped onto a big purple liner and an audience member smashed the pie into his face. When asked how it felt to get pied, Goldsmith said, “It was a really vicious slam in the face. I really didn’t expect the whipped cream to go everywhere. I’d do it again!” Ryan Steremberg ‘25, an audience member, perpetrated the pie-ing. When asked how it felt to pie someone, Steremberg said, “It felt nice. A rare opportunity you can’t get elsewhere.” Throughout the night, several members of the association downed hot sauce as the fundraiser total climbed higher and higher. The crowd roared, “DRINK. THE. HOT SAUCE!” in wild encouragement.
A new auction item was soon offered up: a “Dunkin Donuts Date with Damsels.” This item entailed a visit to Dunkin Donuts accompanied by members of the association “Damsels in Excess,” a non-cis male comedy improv group. Sydney Holliday ‘23, a member of the group since her first-year, said, “I’m pumped for tonight. We haven’t had a comedy slam since before the pandemic!” It appears the comedy slam is re-emerging as vibrant as ever after an unprecedented hibernation.
Soon enough, it was Noah Katz’s ‘23 turn to take a shot of hot sauce. Katz dramatically cleaned off a shot glass as the crowd clapped along rhythmically to “Rasputin.” Katz began chugging and paused midway. The crowd erupted in cheers for him to continue on and that he did. “That’s what you do in improv,” Katz later commented when asked about his hot-shot experience.
“We raised a little over $200! The auction itself was so much fun because we got to bring members of all the groups on stage together, which usually only happens at showcase.”– Taylor Reed ‘23
In a turn of events, Zak committed to having not one but two sharpie tattoos drawn on each of her arms. One was a beautiful turtle and the other was the statement, “I <3 you” in swooping bubble letters. Another auction item, “Comedy Glam,” a makeover by the association’s own Cal Martin-Singer ‘25, was fiercely warred over within the crowd. Shelby Mejia ‘24 came out victorious and had her makeup done by Martin-Singer right on the spot. “It was really random,” Mejia said, “but a fun experience. It kind of embraces the spirit of the night.” Martin-Singer, the expert artist, told The Muhlenberg Weekly that it was fun to perform a makeover for an MCA event and that it was very exciting when somebody proposed that.
“Everyone who attended was so supportive! We were really encouraged by all of the MCA members who came together to help make Comedy Slam happen. We even gained some new members at the event! I’m hoping that this event has students excited about the coming opportunities to learn more about comedy, and to see the ways that comedy can continue post-grad into the professional world,” stated Reed.
By 9 p.m., Zak announced that the night’s event had raised $150. Even aside from the total, Sept. 17’s Comedy Slam symbolized the prosperity and strength of the MCA.
Reed clarified, “We raised a little over $200! The auction itself was so much fun because we got to bring members of all the groups on stage together, which usually only happens at showcase.”
If you’re curious about MCA and looking for a good time, come out and see for yourself on Nov. 18 and 19!
Zak finalized, “Everyone is so full of energy and funny, so it is a blast. I love being able to just hang out and laugh with everyone – especially the people who I am not in groups with.”