Concert Review Chorallaries Leave Bad Taste in Eager Mouths

Evening Filled With Dead Celebrities, Google, Facebook, and a Hunger Strike

48 badtaste
Tess E. Wise '10, Karena K. Tyan '08, and YeeKwan Lo '08, listen as Michael R. Blaisse '10 spins a children's story spoofing Professor James L. Sherley's recent hunger strike.
ThanhLong Lam

Nth Annual Concert in Bad Taste

MIT Chorallaries

March 4, 2007, 10:59:59 p.m.


It was my first time at Bad Taste and I had no idea what to expect. I had heard tales of offensive skits, outrageous songs, and lines snaking through the MIT buildings, but, quite frankly, I believed none of them.

I'd seen worse, right? They couldn't offend me. Or so I thought ….

As I traversed the ridiculous line of people outside of 10-250 (quite a few of whom appeared to be imbibing a viscous fluid…), I realized that I was in for a true MIT experience.

Inside 10-250, the boards were covered with an assortment of offensive drawings (Ever seen Hello Kitty — AIDS Kitty?), a great play on "Dick in a Box," and an interesting charge to the IFC: Whoever gets Hockfield's daughter first wins!

Following a chant of "gonorrhea" from the audience, God (Benjamin M. Schwartz '06) addressed the crowd, producing a list of people to be offended. Steve Irwin drew noticeable jeers, as did Christopher Reeve (and his wife, too).

And thus started what would be a couple of the most memorable and offensive hours of my life.

The Chorallaries' performance was an artful interweaving of skits and songs. Three main skits clearly dominated the evening: Google as a person, Survivor - Afterlife Edition, and Story Time with the Administration. The songs were also well done (playing on Facebook, freshman year experiences, being 'emo,' and more), but were sometimes difficult to hear amidst shouts of "Holly Johnson is hot!" and torrents of Athena cluster paper emanating from the audience.

Google (Schwartz) was eerily reminiscent of a stalker following around a search user (Michael R. Blaisse '10), drawing information from search, Gmail, and Google Calendar. Google seemed to know the answer to every question and when he didn't, Google's commonly-vandalized friend Wikipedia (Katya A. Jarrell '08) was called in (Did you know that the di-electric constant is the number of people killed by licking power lines each year?). Google did have a few problems answers questions about Tiananmen Square; "Of course I know about it!" said Google. "I just lie to Chinese people. You should always lie to Chinese people."

Survivor – Afterlife Edition was the longest skit, with dead contestants vying for entry into heaven. Anna Nicole Smith (Yelena S. Bagdasarova '10) drew shouts of 'Trimspa Baby,' while Christopher Reeve (Michael R. Blaisse '10) seemed unable to lift his arms to shield himself from incoming toilet paper rolls. Poor Smith showed some confusion about the difference between paralyzed, parallel, and pasteurized. Eventually, Saddam Hussein (Jared C. Sadoian '10) gained entry into heaven after serving as George W. Bush's (Akash A. Chandawarkar '09) guardian angel. Unfortunately, the skit was split up by a song and smaller skits, which made it a bit difficult to follow.

The clear audience favorite was Story Time with the Administration, where the children's story Green Eggs and the Man detailed Professor James L. Sherley's departure from sustenance and his talks with the administration; "Would you, could you, in a shack? You live there already. You are black."

LSC-style cue-cards prefaced small skits, "Your Mom! … In Stereo!" was a great chant, although the appearance of Schrödinger's equation was a depressing reminder of the state of MIT's union. Musical Theatre Guild's cast of Reefer Madness made a cameo appearance that started off a bit rough, but quickly gained the crowd's support. There were a few other noteworthy sketches, such as "101 Other Meanings of OLPC" (One Laptop Per Child), including "oral lovers please call," "old ladies push crack," and "omit lube, penis chafes." There was "KY-40 — from the makers of WD-40," as well as a handful of skits which ended when anyone said "bomb," prompting intervention by the Boston Police Bomb Squad.

This year, the traditional Top 10 list featured "The Top 10 Ways to Get an Asian Girl at MIT," including "give her a single beer," and "be the only straight guy in Dance Troupe."

The show ended with "The Engineer's Drinking Song," including some custom-written and — true to the spirit of the show — offensive verses by the Chorallaries.

The edgy, hysterical evening was clearly an essential MIT experience. And although it wasn't in great taste, that was, after all, the point.