With the all the stress built in to the juggling act that is college life, sometimes students have to be reminded of the importance of humor. Luckily, last weekend provided students with that opportunity.
Danny Pudi, one of the stars of NBC’s “Community” and a 2001 graduate of the College of Communication, paid a visit to his alma mater this weekend and was received enthusiastically by the Marquette community.
Demonstrating his love for the school, Pudi jumped into student life once again, making appearances all over campus and attending the men’s basketball season opener. Pudi has said in the past that he is still a huge fan and holds the Golden Eagles close to his heart.
The people of Milwaukee showed their excitement via social networking. His name became a trending topic in Milwaukee on Twitter following his visit.
The entertainment portion of his visit began on Friday night when Pudi joined the Kevin and John Farley brothers, for a “rare, live, remote” airing of their podcast, Farley Bros. Radio. Also featured were fellow actors Pat Finn and Chris Marrs, both fellow Marquette alumni. The show, which is usually recorded at The Second City Network in Los Angeles, was broadcast in front of a small crowd at the Annex.
The five comics lived up to the claim made by the show’s description: that it’s “a conversation that’s undeniably Farley.” From reminiscing about first roommates to describing Chris Farley’s perfection of the Naked Beer Slide at a hole-in-the-wall campus bar, the spirited accounts of their college days kept the audience laughing. A few of the hosts’ classmates were in attendance and occasionally engaged to help with the storytelling.
Upon being reminded that Pudi was the first recipient of the Chris Farley Scholarship at Marquette, listeners learned that comedy was not always in the cards for him; his mom hoped he would become a priest.
“I loved the performance aspect of it,” Pudi joked.
Fortunately for the entertainment world, he was led away from that path early on after serving as an alter boy at a mass lead by a visibly intoxicated priest. To hear the full story, look for the release of the podcast on iTunes. It is worth a listen.
Saturday night provided another opportunity for entertainment. Late Night Marquette hosted an improv show put on by the five comics, collectively known as The Avalancheros, a name paying tribute to their favorite college hangout, the Avalanche Bar that has since closed its doors.
In front of a crowd filling the seats in the AMU ballrooms, The Avalancheros performed mostly long-form improv, which focuses more on developing a story, but is still made up on the spot. Of course, the scenes were played out at various locations on campus, including Marquette Gyros and McCormick Hall, both places that Pudi spent a fair amount of time as an undergraduate student.
The performance proved that while things are always changing, a lot stays the same. Allusions to the shortcomings of Student Health Services seemed eerily familiar.
The show did begin and end with other improv games, even inviting members of Marquette’s own improv group, the Studio 013 Refugees. Although the scenes were shorter, the audience saw everything from narcoleptic bowlers to krumping competitions, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it.
“I was really surprised by how many people were here,” said Megan Stinn, a sophomore in the College of Communication who had one complaint about the show. “I wish they had mics; it was super hard to hear them. Everyone was really excited and they showed it with volume.”
More than once during the performance, the group brought up one pressing question surrounding the Marquette fight song. What does “Ring out Ahoya” mean?
“It was all just gibberish. [Father Marquette] said it once and nobody knows what it means,” said Marrs during one portion of the show.
While the mystery still remains, students and alumni of Marquette were reminded once again of the pride that they all have in this university, even after their days in academia are long behind them.
Until next time, thanks for the laughs, Pudi and friends.
by Amanda Stewart