Midnight Shits and Giggles

Weekly comedy show on the West Bank campus.

Illustrator: Jade Mulcahy

“To weed!” was not the cry I was expecting to hear to start off my Saturday, but I’ve learned to leave my expectations behind when I come to Midnight Shit. A weekly underground comedy show hosted at the Humble Cup on West Bank every Friday night, Midnight Shit is comprised of four local comedians and a rotating cast of extras who bring free, original entertainment to campus every week.

The Humble Cup is known for having live entertainment regularly, but the café doesn’t pride itself on being a flashy venue for shows. Half of the room had chairs crammed in front of a dinky stage while the other half continued to be a cafe, filled with students going about their business. Buzzing with activity even at midnight, the atmosphere is always warm and easygoing, the perfect setting for the type of comedy offered by Midnight Shit. What better way to attract college kids to a business than free entertainment, midnight coffee, and late-night jokes about marijuana?

It’s hard to put a brand on the comedy, and that might just be what makes it so amusing. The people on stage are just having a good time being themselves, not trying to pander to a large audience. All the content is put together within one week before the next show and there’s a slot reserved for a bit of improv at each show where the performers take suggestions from the audience. This week’s session included a “Home Alone”-esque home invasion that turned into an adoption, a couple of “doofs” (you’re not allowed to say “goofs” anymore) trying to rob a Perkins, a high school prom with the boy with an iron leg as a date, and two frat boys falling in love to a truly magical rendition of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

The humor itself is best taken in without too much questioning. If you don’t understand what’s funny, about 9 times out of 10, neither does anyone else. We’re just laughing at the absurdity. It’s not stand-up as much as it is a drama, and the performers deliver. They’re unafraid to sing an entire song about wanting to eat a pet dog, call up volunteers to use a primitive lie detector, kiss each other on stage, and blow raspberries on each other’s stomachs. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and it’s a common occurrence to see a few weird faces and voices or impersonations of a dog. It’s clear that they’re having as much fun as the audience, which is refreshing to see at any show. Even when there are technical difficulties and interruptions, they make the best out of them for comedy, and the nonchalance that exudes from working around their unplanned errors makes it all the more fun.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the bits are scripted or improvised, because they’re all equally comedic. At one point, someone walked into the cafe and interrupted the show to order a sandwich and was pulled on stage. He was interviewed with the lie detector, and it ran so smoothly that nobody in the audience was sure if that was scripted. Both the comedian and the sandwich guy were just having a good time making everyone laugh. Anything goes at Midnight Shit.

Watching Midnight Shit is a good way to get some mindless laughs, but to call their jokes mindless wouldn’t do the writers justice. It takes a lot of talent to come up with smart one-of-a-kind content every week and incorporate improvised skits into planned dramas to entertain a crowd of people. The show has a growing fanbase, as they had a larger audience this week than the last time I saw them in November. They’re still worthy of much more recognition—so if you’re looking for some cheap entertainment and a relaxing end to the week, grab a few friends and go check out your local doofs at Midnight Shit this Friday night!