Muhlenberg’s absurdist comedy group The Bad Ones held a show on Valentine’s Day, which they titled “The Bad Ones Find Love feat. The Badchelor.” The five members of The Bad Ones created a show that combined an interactive game show with the audience in the Red Door, and then they combined the interactive game show with a filmed parody of the reality show The Bachelor. Both the filmed and live parts of the show fit perfectly into The Bad Ones’ absurdist humor. The way that they had created the show connected both the parody of The Bachelor and the live game show that they invented through the overarching theme of finding love.
At the beginning of the show, The Bad Ones introduced the show and then put on their filmed Bachelor parody. Their parody poked fun at the various quirky contestants that have appeared on the actual reality show over the years, featuring four of the members of The Bad Ones as a multitude of contestants, each with a unique oddity to their personality. All of these contestants got more and more ridiculous throughout the different clips that were played during the show, including running gags that added to the humor already present.
As The Bad Ones Member Karly McCloskey ‘20 described, the general premise was also born out of the ridiculousness of the actual reality show: “We all started watching The Bachelor together since we thought that the show was ridiculous but at the same time very entertaining. […] We noticed that the bachelor follows a strict personality type, so we wanted to morph that a little bit and do the ‘first fat bachelor’ since they typically have very slim men on these shows.” In this way, the group combined the absurdity of the actual reality show with their own sense of humor to create an entertaining video for the audience.
The filmed Bachelor parody was interspersed with a live game show that featured McCloskey as the host. The game show featured three contestants from the audience who served as “bachelors” for The Bad Ones member Nikki Miller ’20 to choose to date. She was blindfolded and had to pick a contestant from each of three rounds based on questions that the group had created. The use of audience participation allowed for spontaneous responses from the audience and contestants, and Miller and McCloskey were hilarious when they came up with on-the-spot responses that also fit the absurdist humor of the show. The show concluded as the group tied both the filmed and live parts of the show together as Jarrett Azar ’20, who played the “first fat bachelor” character, re-entered the stage in his costume from the filmed parody, and the other members of the group entered as one of each of their contestants as well. Instead of filming the Final Rose ceremony, they performed it live in front of the audience. This served as both a humorous and satisfying conclusion to everything that had been in the show beforehand.
Such absurdist humor begs the question of how the show gets written, but according to McCloskey, the process is collaborative (and hilarious) one: “There’s only five of us so it’s pretty easy to get everyone together to talk about the next show. We each come to the meetings with our own ideas and typically run them by everyone else. From there, we just sort of crack jokes at each other randomly, and we magically come to the conclusion about how we want something to go. We’re very into each other’s humor so we typically just end up finding each other very funny and we kind of just go with it.”
This collaboration and sense of humor between the different members was extremely clear to the audience when the group performed their show. All five members seemed to be having so much fun with each other, both in the filmed parody and in the live interactive game show, which made it an entertaining evening for the audience.