Seeing WSU’s improvisation comedy group Nuthouse perform is a lot like going to Cougar Country; it's cheap, it's local and it's even better when you’re just a little tipsy.
Nuthouse was forced to go through a major readjustment after the closing of the WSU Department of Theatre and Dance, and although I regularly attended Nuthouse before the cessation of the department, I was curious to see how the group has rolled with the punches and developed their punch lines afterward.
When I attended Friday night, I was pleasantly surprised. The team of players was generally hilarious and although some sketches felt a little more longwinded than their laughs, the $3 ticket was money well spent.
My favorite part of the evening was hands down the second to last skit of the night. Audience members were prompted to yell out things that they couldn’t imagine living without. The actors chose the best of the suggestions and acted out a one or two line example of a world without the suggested thing.
The game went without hitch with silly suggestions like “sex” and “water” being acted out by the players, but things took a serious turn when someone earnestly yelled out “Jesus” when asked what was “the most important thing is in world.” There was a sudden hush over the previously jovial crowd as everyone thought the same thing: “Why would you say that at a comedy show?”
I didn’t find the suggestion to be in poor taste as much as I thought it was a stupid thing to say. You’re at a comedy show and suggest something like Jesus as the most important thing in your world, even when you know that the whole point of the show is that the actors will make fun of whatever you suggest?
I have to give credit to Nuthouse. They completely went with it and made some of the most hysterical jokes of the night at the expense of religion in general. Then, to make things fair, they acted out a “world without dinosaurs” (a not so subtle nod toward a world without science or atheism). I not only gained an incredible amount of respect for the students involved in Nuthouse, I also laughed hard enough to cry. That kind of balance is hard to find. While I found it to be hysterical, I can’t help but wonder what the non-atheist and possibly less lighthearted members of the audience thought of the show.
My final thoughts on Nuthouse are overwhelmingly positive. They put on a great show, they’ve managed to survive a radical change and they can make even the most controversial of subjects hysterical to a diverse audience. In my opinion, Nuthouse deserves their loyal following.