All-Troupe show brings out the best from Emerson’s comedians


Jackson Bailey

Comedians perform at the All-Troupe show.

By Jackson Bailey, Staff Writer, Living Arts

A large crowd gathered outside the Student Performance Center last Friday night with anticipation building for “Too Loud,” the All-Troupe showcase meant to reintroduce 13 comedy orgs to audience members and prospective comedians. 

The performance was advertised as a showcase of the Emerson Comedy Alliance—13 comedy troupes made up of sketch writers, improvisers, and stand-up comedians. They gathered in the SPC giving audiences a sense of the immense scope of this show. 

Thirty minutes before the opening, there was a growing sense of excitement and anxiety amongst performers. 

“There were buckets of nerves on everyone’s end,” said Sean Myers, president of This is Pathetic. “This is Pathetic is the smallest comedy troupe on campus, so finding our way to kind of perform in the style we like to perform was difficult and a challenge. It was a challenge we rose to.”

When the show began, the lights went up on a packed house. After a brief introduction video, Derbyn’s Emily Hammond and Chocolate Cake City’s Breanna Nesbith, both seniors, kicked off the show. Each troupe was given about five minutes to showcase their performers and style of comedy. 

The show itself began with two video sketches from Goose Troupe. The first video mocked car salesman commercials while the second played out an awkward hook-up scenario. Both sketches leaned into the bizarre, which served as an effective comedic ice-breaker before the live performers took over. 

The energy picked up from there. The next hour and a half was a whirlwind of performances touching on everything from romance novels to the Abby Lee Dance Company. 

Highlights included the performance of Jimmy’s Traveling All-Stars, which included a sketch about a fourth “Night at the Museum” movie. Jimmy’s sketch included a guilt-ridden sea captain, who audiences later learned was the departed captain of the Titanic. He, along with a child riddled with scarlet fever and an annoying Marilyn Monroe, served as strong character choices for Jimmy’s performance.

The loudest audience reaction came during the showcase of Stroopwafel, an improv comedy troupe. The troupe came out with immense energy, engaging the crowd and winning the audience over with a quick improv game that turned into a masterclass in controlled chaos. 

“We had a rehearsal but I was nervous, it’s a lot of comedians,” said Connor Spring ‘25 of Stroopwafel. 

In the stand-up comedy realm, junior Henry Cheney of Inside Joke grabbed their fair share of laughs with their dry narration of their own unique drawings. Other stand-up comedians included junior Matthew Schwartz, who talked about his recently acquired tattoos, and sophomore Jack Reisman, who used his time to discuss his sitcoms and his relationship with the TV show “The Goldbergs.” 

Both Schwartz and Reisman performed well, but seemed to be rushing their jokes as they each were given only about two minutes to perform. Cheney’s set used the majority of Inside Joke’s time and as such had room to develop. Schwartz and Reisman performed as representatives from the stand-up comedy troupe Stand-up in the Park. 

Though the show itself was lengthy at about two and a half hours, it remained engaging throughout. Troupes such as This is Pathetic and Stand-up in the Park relied on their skills as storytellers, while others like Emerson Comedy Workshop found comedy in spectacle, capping off the night with a wonderful skit that relied heavily on audio and props.

“The concern was the length,” Spring said. “But I think everybody was good enough where that wasn’t a problem. If people were bad tonight it would have been a different story, but the energy kept up so I think it worked.”

As the show moved along, audiences gained a sense of each troupe’s styles and personalities. Troupes such as Derbyn and Goose troupe prioritized social awkwardness in their comedy, while improv troupes such as SWOMO and Stroopwafel utilized their high energy and wit. Performances from troupes such as The Girlie Project and This is Pathetic emphasized creativity and out-of the box thinking. By the time the show ended, it was hard to pick a favorite amongst the drastically different styles—but that was the point. A large part of the All-Troupe showcase is getting a feel for the troupes, their styles, and their comedians. 

“This was a great representation of Stroopwafel,” Spring said. “We just went up and had fun and were silly and stupid. We listened well. It was fun, and that’s Stroop.” When the final performance was done, comedians hung around the SPC to congratulate each other on a successful night.

“It was wonderful,” Myers said. “Everyone was able to show themselves off… It was great for people to see what we’re all about.” 

This collaborative show comes as part of a mission amongst Comedy Alliance troupes to foster a collaborative community of comedians. 

“The comedy orgs are really excited about collaborating more this year, becoming more of a community,” Myers said. “I’m hoping there’s another All-Troupe when [the troupes have] their new members ready. That way we can introduce the new members.” 

Some troupes began planning similar events inspired by the All-Troupe show and the collaborative spirit it promotes. 

“I was saying prior to this show that we should do this more often,” Springs said. “I want to do a show called ‘Stroop Has Friends’ where we just invite other troupes to perform with us. Whoever’s interested should get to perform.”