by Leah Dwyer
Everyone needs a laugh, and now more than ever that’s accessible for Purchase students with Purchase Late Night coming back, and now, it is online.
Purchase Late Night was the on-campus’ comedy show that was held weekly in the Stood. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, it was moved online. Now students can read satire articles on their new website purchaselatenight.com and watch sketch clips on their Instagram @purchaselatenight.
“No matter, what everybody wants humor, it’s just something that’s so comforting right now and I think laughing is the best self-soothing tool,” said Calder Mansfield, a junior history and screenwriting major, who is one of two showrunners for Purchase Late Night.
Erin Wenke, a junior printmaking major and the second half of the Late Night showrunners, credits Mansfield for much of their success in moving online. She says, “She's (Mansfield) a genius; most of our rebrand was all her idea.”
The shift to an online format has had its challenges. Aidan Kushner, a sophomore playwriting/screenwriting major who is a writer/performer for Late Night said, “It’s more restrictive and it’s just not as fun. You don’t get the feedback from the audience; it’s not as engaging.”
He described how writing for an online audience differs from writing for a live performance. He has been trying to think of reasons why people would be online and incorporating that into skits. Kushner said that the difficulty in writing comes from the fact that quarantine has limited recent experiences to pull inspiration from.
Wenke and Mansfield have both kept optimistic in focusing on some of the more beneficial changes during the shift to an online format.
Wenke said, “Moving online gave us more time and energy to focus on other ways to make content.” Like Kushner, she also mentioned some difficulty around making Zoom friendly skits. “But that hasn’t been a problem,” she said. “We’ve been coming up with some pretty good stuff.”
“I think quarantine actually has done us well. I think it was a really good medium for being online,” said Mansfield. “I kind of think it’s a blessing right now. It’s forcing us all to work together.”
Amid all the changes, some things have stayed consistent for the group.
When asked about what remained the same, Wenke said “The brand of slightly nonsensical, absurd humor built around the Purchase community.”
“The overall goofiness, that’s just comforting to have be the same,” Mansfield said. “I think the best thing is that we all still like each other.”
Kushner was quick to reply with a sarcastic, “We all still hate each other. The only thing I would say is the same is our sense of humor and our sensibility.”
The main thing everyone stressed was the most important was their need for more contributors.
“We are looking for contributors of all kinds! Graphic designers, artists, musicians, writers, etc,” she said. “We’re hoping to deepen the bench and collaborate with all kinds of students in the Purchase community.”
“Comedy is really comforting right now and I don’t want anyone limiting themselves from taking part in that comfort and that joy,” said Mansfield.
To reach out and get involved in Purchase Late Night, send a direct message to them @purchaselatenight on Instagram.