By Jordan Huynh – The Daily Pennsylvanian – November 18th, 2012

      On Friday, young comedians traveled hundreds of miles to Penn with one goal in mind: to fill the air with laughter.

      Students from five sketch comedy troupes and comedian Greg Proops joined forces in Harrison Auditorium for the Mask & Wig Club and Social Planning and Events Committee’s 15th Annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival.

      The show featured 88 students from Tufts University, Boston University, New York University, the University of Maryland and Penn.

      During the show, each of the groups performed a short set, highlighting the best of what they had to offer.

      The crowd erupted into laughter during a satirical take on “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” a sketch featuring a marriage proposal in a bathroom and a musical number about the struggles of women in a polygamous relationship.

      Greg Proops — most noted for his work in the television series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — hosted the show, and he did not disappoint the crowd. His stand-up monologue brought the house down, featuring jokes about Penn State, the 2012 presidential race and the University’s alcohol policies. He also performed with Mask & Wig on many of the sketches that were featured in their fall production.

      “It was a really awesome experience getting to work with Greg,” Wharton junior and ComFest Director Chirag Pathre wrote in an email. “He was excited to be a part of the show and willing to play along with all of our sketches — even when we made him dress up as a girl or eat an entire burger on stage.”

      As they reflected on the show, the performers shared an enthusiasm for the camaraderie that the show offered all the troupes.

      “My favorite part is just hanging out with the other groups,” said College junior and ComFest Director William Seife. “It’s great getting to know people who are doing the same thing.”

      He noted that because Penn students have many opportunities to see Mask & Wig perform during the year, this show was created to highlight talented groups from other universities. “We’re trying to make this about the other sketch comedy groups that are coming,” he said.

      As a result, comedy troupes from across the nation responded positively to Mask & Wig’s invitation to perform.

      One of the groups that was eager to return was Sketchup from the University of Maryland.

      “We have a really long relationship with Mask & Wig and we’ve done all 15 years of ComFest,” Sketchup Creative Director Adam Offitzer said. “So apparently they like us.”

      “[All the troupes] love coming back here,” College junior and Mask & Wig Historian Kevin Seelaus said. “When we reached out to them this year, a lot of them responded to us saying ‘Oh, absolutely. We can’t wait to be back.’”

      He added the show was ultimately a learning experience that brought the groups together and showcased their abilities. “It’s … about sharing what we do with other groups that love to do the same thing.”

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