By Nate Stauffer, Business Staff ’16
On April 19, Mask and Wig hosted the 16th annual ComFest Intercollegiate Comedy Festival, in which we invite sketch comedy groups from other colleges to come and showcase their work alongside us. This was one of my favorite events from my freshman year with Mask and Wig, so I was delighted to find out it would be returning again this year. Junior Andres Martinez served as the event coordinator, but all of the members of the undergraduate company played important roles in helping the event run smoothly.
Returning to its roots this year, the event was brought back to the Clubhouse, which served especially well as a casual intimate setting for the show. We had a good turnout of about 120 people, almost all Penn students. Two of the three groups who came in to perform- Humor Us from Cornell and Sketchup from the University of Maryland – were veterans from last year’s ComFest. The third group, Boy Meets Tractor from Swarthmore College, brought a fresh new style of comedy to the stage. We also welcomed up-and-coming local comedian Tommy Pope to host the event. Pope’s dry wit and open interactions with the audience made the night especially engaging for everyone. After the three guest groups performed, members of the Mask and Wig cast showcased some of our favorite bits for them, most of which were taken from this year’s Fall Show. When the show ended, all of the groups went down to the Grille Room to mingle with the audience and get to know each other better.
Aside from being another opportunity for us to perform, ComFest is a very special and important event because it gives us the chance to see firsthand the work that some of our peer groups are doing around the country and the different characters and brands of humor of each group. Aside from our annual tour, it is arguably the best opportunity we have to spread our reputation to other parts of the country, and the chance to become friends with students from other schools is truly a blessing. I am personally very glad we decided to bring back this event and hope we continue to do so in the coming years. Ultimately, ComFest is a great reminder of the importance of humor: no matter where you come from, you can always find common ground in laughter.