Chances are, if you’re Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, or just a member of the MIT community, you got offended by the a cappella group the Chorallaries (or the “Whore-allaries,” as they called themselves) at the nth Annual Concert in Bad Taste last Saturday night.
From a line that stretched from 26-100 to the Infinite Corridor, students walked straight into a dance party. The lecture hall’s chalkboards were decorated with furry Eskimos and Charlie the Unicorn, who was taking it in the rear, while toilet paper rolls were hurled every which way.
As per Bad Taste tradition, the list of the offended was read to the audience by a banana (Tess E. Wise ’10). Audience members called for her to “peel it.” Cheesy math jokes (“Euler? I hardy know her!”), a Dr. Seuss-inspired, economy-themed story about the administration (“Oh, The Places You’ll Not Go!”), and the Bad Taste Top Ten Rejected Video Games (including Cultural Cultural Revolution, Dr. Mario: OB/GYN, Wii Fat, and MATLAB), were other classics that kept the audience awake until almost three in the morning.
Of course, there were some new elements to this year’s Bad Taste. The skits featured some special guest appearances, including Barack Obama (Jared C. Sadoian ’10), who described his “stimulative package” and included more double entendres than you can shake a stick at. The package entailed “injecting liquidity into the hole of the economy” and providing STDs (that’s Studies on Taxpayer Dollars, of course) for everyone.
Hannah S. Israel ’12 and Michael R. Blaisse ’10 paired up as Katie Couric and Sarah Palin in a skit reporting on Obama’s Inauguration, mocking the tension in the duo’s real-life relationship. Couric’s eventual “STFU!” to Palin was made all the more perfect by a well-timed toilet paper hit to Palin’s face.
Throughout the night, the Chorallaries offered some of their ideas for new movies, including 007: Quantum Mechanics, Ironing Man, High School Musical 8: the GED is f-ing hard, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Series, and, just for the fraked ATO brothers, Step Up 2: the Streets. True to Institute tradition, all of these MIT-inspired movies had their own LSC-inspired introductions. Cheers popularized by the Lecture Series Committee’s weekly movies, such as “Next Friday and Saturday … in stereo!” was changed to everything from “2012 sweatshirts … in stereo!” to “Leave Britney Alone … in stereo!”
Aside from the skits, the Chorallaries performed bawdy and humorous versions of several popular songs, including a pessimistic take on 8.02 TEAL and a version of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” about a sex change. The Chorallaries would begin a song, and just as the audience recognized it, a few switches in the lyrics would give them something entirely different. Frankie Valli’s well-known love ballad “You’re just too good to be true / Can’t take my eyes off of you” devolved into “I need your boobies!”
The MIT/Wellesley Toons stormed the stage about midway through the show after an ethnic-bashing parody on Nickelodeon’s “GUTS.” They did anything but clear the bad taste left behind by the Chorallaries — though Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” elaborating upon one episode of rape at a party, made this reporter want to call Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator.”
Any time there was a lull in the performance, the audience was happy to find new distractions. Minmin Yen ’11, dressed as a Chinese takeout box, became the most sought-after toilet paper target in the room. Cheers erupted whenever anyone was able to get a roll into the box, and one audience member was ambitious enough to dump a wad of several unraveled toilet paper rolls onto the unsuspecting Yen as she exited the stage.
Before the show, several students just couldn’t wait to, well, wait in line. Jacqueline Rogoff ’10 and Shaymus W. Hudson ’12 waited outside of 26-100 for three nights to ensure their places in line. Rogoff said her motivation was “eternal glory.” Matthew S. Putnam ’09, who only had to wait one night, reasoned, “I’m going to be wasting time anyway. I figured I’d get in line early and get good seats.”
Sadoian, in his second year as Bad Taste Chair, explained why this event is so popular. “The weather’s crummy outside, students are stressed with classes. This is advertised as an emotional release. You can come, you can laugh at yourself, you can laugh at other people and not feel bad about it.”
No, it doesn’t feel bad at all. It just leaves a bad taste.