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Bad Taste 96 crammed with TV icons, usual ribaldry


The Chorallaries.

10-250, last Saturday.

By Rob Wagner
Staff Reporter

For their late-night Bad Taste concert last Saturday, the Chorallaries sucked the audience into a world of vulgarity and dirty jokes. With characteristic raunch, the Chorallaries were awfully pleasing to the audience. Continuing a tradition here at MIT, people waited up to 10 hours to see this concert, in a line stretching from Room 10-250 to the second floor of Building 5. Shorter than usual, the concert ended at around 1:40 a.m., disappointing the chanting-for-more audience.

The Chorallaries began the show by reading a list of people that would be offended by the concert. This list spanned a long scroll of dot-matrix printer paper, bringing many laughs to the audience. The groups they expected to offend included Alpha Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, other Greek groups, the Muses, Wellesley, Harvard, and Pat Buchanan. This list was apropos, since themes running through the concert were anti-Greek, anti-Harvard, and anti-conservative.

Performing a parody of Friends, called "Fiends," the Chorallaries parodied each of the six characters, including the ditzy Alpha Phoebe. They also parodied the developing relationship between Ross and Rachel throughout. Sprinkling the characters into different sketches as though they could think of nothing else, they ran this parody into the ground.

They then featured a parody of Toy Story - with a room full of vibrators - when a new, jet-powered model, Buzz Lightyear, arrives. Buzz sang a song all about how superior he was and how old and worn out cowboy Woody was. This song bought the audience a whole mess of laughs.

Next came a commercial for the Slapper, a replacement for a lost TV remote controller. It changed the channel to more manly shows, from soap operas to football to a seven-day Baywatch "all-running" marathon. The way it worked was to slap your girlfriend to change the channel. This brought nothing but groans from the audience.

As the serious political statement of the night, they had a parody of "Rubber Duckie" by Sesame Street's Ernie, called "Boris Yeltsin." This was sung by a Russian man relieved by the end of the Cold War, but discouraged by a lousy Russian economy. Hearty applause accompanied the end of this song.

Then three guys, victim to a broken TV, suggested going to a strip joint. They all then jumped into a chorus of "Nudie Bar," with three of the women Chorallaries as the dancing ladies. The crowd soon grew rowdy as the ladies stripped to reveal their Wellesley shirts.

"Oh, you ho" was the next song, after Ross discovers Rachel the next morning still at the Alpha Sigma Sigma house in bed with a frat guy. On the way home, Rachel, still massively hung-over, fell into the Charles River. Luckily, Michael Knight, with his trusty talking nerd-Kitt, was there for the rescue. Michael promptly turned into a Baywatch lifeguard, and in came a woman lifeguard - a parody of Pamela Anderson - equipped with well-attached water balloons. She refused to go into the Charles, in fear that the water would affect her breasts. Luckily, a Harvard Crew shell was passing by, but they only asked Rachel for Grey Poupon. It was not until an MIT Crew shell passed that she was finally saved. This sketch was pretty damn long, but the popping of Pamela Anderson's water balloons at the end when she hugged Ross made it all worthwhile.

The Black Lace Panties, formerly known as the Toons, then sang a parody of Madonna's "Express Yourself" called "Don't You Go Down on him, Baby." The Chorallaries then returned to sing "If I had a Million Pesos," about a Mexican man who just received a letter from Eduardo McManno that reads, "You may already have won one million pesos!!" They then put on "EER," a parody of the MIT Med Center, equipped with a doctor fascinated with the EKG machine and a "Monty Python Syndrome" ward, complete with people shouting, "Nee!" and the traditional newt lines. Alpha Phoebe walked in and told the nurse she thinks she caught an SAE, and the nurse directed her to a doctor. Rachel and Ross were also there, recovering from the party and from the Charles.

The traditional Top Ten List appeared as the "Top Ten Ways to Retrieve a Lost Tampon," culminating with the audience favorite "Meta-X Get-Tampon."

They then had a time when a drill sergeant took over the group until they could think of a funny idea for a sketch. Finally, a member of the group would spit out an idea for a sketch involving the "Fiends" characters, such as Rachel in 6.111 lab, or Ross trying to impress Rachel in a self-defense class. The latter was very good, where Ross and Rachel sparred to the theme of Mortal Kombat, with overseers, who told them when to "Fight!" and who told Rachel to "Finish him!"

Two people then read the 101 alternate meanings of "http." Relief came when another Chorallary member jumped in with "Humor These Two People."

The "old and crusty" Chorallary alums joined in the festivities with the traditional Chorallary version of "We are the Engineers." They were introduced as people who would come in and mess up the song, but they added volume just by their numbers, and they all seemed to follow the exact same inflections and motions as the others. This was probably the best song of the night.

They then sang "Share the ho," about the last drunk bimbo at the party, whom two guys wanted to share. This concluded their main performance, but, of course, they were called back for the traditional encores. They performed "Cab Driver on Sesame Street," about a cab driver seeking to take out all the muppets, including Snuffalupagus. The cab driver revealed he was Speaker of the House and a House Republican, a dig on Newt Gingrich and other House Republicans for wanting to privatize PBS. The final encore was "Necrophilia in the Graveyard," a song about "digging up a date," even though it's illegal.

The Chorallaries explicitly did not perform their traditional "Africa." One member drew a picture of Africa on the chalkboard in response to the audience's vigorously chanting "Africa!" Then, after they sang the encores of "Cab Driver" and "Necrophilia," he crossed out the picture of Africa, denoting that they absolutely would not sing "Africa." This was disappointing, since it was the highlight of last year's show.

In any case, Bad Taste 96 was extremely pleasing to the eager audience. Despite its brevity, the audience seemed very satisfied on the whole. I suppose as long as a show like Friends can dominate pop culture the way it has, "Fiends" is hard to avoid. And because the characters are so prevalent and the stories so familiar, even these one-track parodies are thoroughly satisfying to an audience of Friends-watchers. Then again, what kind of fool would wait in line for 10 hours for something that wasn't satisfying to him?