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Plush Daddy Fly: MIT's newest comedy troupe starts off right

Rebecca Loh--The Tech
Richard S. Thompkins '98 makes a personal discovery last Saturday at the premiere performance of Plush Daddy Fly, a sketch comedy group.

By Joel Rosenberg
Arts editor

As the campus begins to remoisten, the results of prolonged prohibition are beginning to rear their ugly head. Or not so ugly, as in the case of the new MIT comedy troupe Plush Daddy Fly, who debuted to a filled 54-100 on Saturday night.

In one of the most remarkable advertising campaigns I've seen at this school, Plush Daddy Fly made their name known using everything from creative photographs of the group to edited video of a crazed Little Richard that played in a continuous loop in the student center on Friday. And their efforts paid off, evidenced by a strong turnout. The message on the board of their theater invited guests to boogie in the aisles if they wanted to.

The thing about comedy at MIT is that our reality is screwed up. Everyone has made a computer joke at some point. Everyone. So the idea of a comedy troupe brings thoughts of inside jokes galore. But Plush Daddy Fly managed to take the higher and mightier route and wrote genuinely funny stuff. It was quite impressive.

Cue cards on the side of the stage announced each skit, and first up was "Bus Stop," a Stomp-esque parody of "Rent", as far as I could tell. It set the tone nicely for the introductory "Instructions for Viewing," mimed by comedy attendants being prompted by a voice-over, who explained for the audience's safety what to do in the event of a joke emergency. Luckily, there ended up being only a few.

"Retirement" was a smart take on Satan's search for a replacement, and "Monkey" showed the cruelty of animal testing by having George Michael mesmerize a researcher into inadvertently switching places with his subject.

In "Female Emergency," The Tampon Avenger and The Maxi-Pad Man have a showdown worthy of dust bowls and spitoons. And "Discovery" pays homage to Stanley Kubrick's epic 2001, capturing the essence of man's knowledge into self in a dramatic scene that causes the taste referee to yellow card our brave explorer.

"Mr. Roy," a monologue by Rob Mercato G, didn't hit quite as well as he might have hoped. It reminded me of a Pauly Shore monologue.

The scattered "Misfit Ninjas" throughout the night made for a cute, if easy, running gag. "Joanie's Kitchen" was an observational piece about that awesome luncheonette up Mass. Ave. often populated by construction workers from University Park. It demonstrated a certain respect for them, even though they were the butt of the joke.

The closing skit was "Rap Institute of Boston," a play on cultural black and white stereotypes. A mix of Vanilla Ice devotees and Carlton from The Fresh Prince are enrolled at the soul-inducing, body grooving institute, being displayed in an infomercial selling the art of "bustin" - not "busting" - rhymes. It was a strong finish to a strong debut.

Plush Daddy Fly started with Jeremy Lueck '99 and Marcato, who got a few people together, did AEPhi Live, and then finished casting the troupe. Jamie Morgan '98, Lee Knight '00, Megan McNamee, Shaka Thornhill '99, Rick Thompkins '98, Ben Davis '99, and Ray Molnar '00 comprised the impressive cast, none of whom really missed a beat the whole night. So the publicity paid off, the audience left satisfied.