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Late Night Laughs

By Maxime Munoz


Ensemble taking final bows (Photo by: Maxime Munoz)

Settled on a sunken velvet couch in the front row splash zone, the cast of Purchase Late Night bustles around before the show begins. The cinema room of the Stood is filled with excitement and nerves, hoping that there will be nothing but laughs from the audience. “I always get nervous before,” said Johnny Bayne, a sophomore screenwriting major and cast member of Purchase Late Night since January 2023.


Bayne has some pre-show rituals to calm the jitters. Breathe, drink water, and jump a lot, as they say it is to harness energy into the show. Bayne quiets down before a show, “I'm just trying to center myself.”


Marissa Mulgrew, a sophomore and member of Purchase Late Night since the first semester of her freshman year, has a different way of preparing. When asked if she gets nervous before a show she said she doesn't because it's just for fun. “The stakes are very low. I definitely get the excited jitters. I let them out by just being as weird as possible during the sketches,” says Mulgrew.


The show consisted of multiple short skits each written by a different member. Bayne, who enjoys both acting and writing, explains the difference between each process. “For me, writing is just a bit more vulnerable. If no one laughs at it then that's on me.” When asked about acting, Bayne says there is less pressure. “If I’m just acting in it and no one laughs, then it's not my fault.”


There was one laugh that stood out among the whole audience. Eli Bettmann, a sophomore theater and performance major, attended the show to support the cast. Bettmann knew exactly what they were walking into. “I was anticipating pretty much what it was. A chill environment with not a lot of sets and costumes. Just a relaxed space to present sketches,” he said.


Out of a long roster of sketches one particular hit Bettmann right in the funny bone. “The one with the bees,” he said. Which also happened to be the shortest sketch. “Here's what it was, I'll tell you what it was.” Their energy rises while talking about it. “It was my favorite because the character was fully there and it was just completely ridiculous. I really appreciated the actor taking us there.” Their second favorite was the horse funeral. “That tickled me.”


Purchase Late Night provides so much more than some humor relief. Bayne has taken the skills Late Night has taught them and applied them to other things. “It makes me a little less insecure and more outgoing. It inspired me to get out there and not take myself too seriously.” Purchase Late Night has also helped Mulgrew in different ways. “Joining has helped me make friends in college because comedy is something everybody loves.”

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