September 28, 2023

Sweaty-Tooth Madmen Place 1st in Boston Improv

The Sweaty-Toothed Madmen’s recent exceptional performance in a local short-form competition earned them a first place title. Banding together yet again, the group attended the 15th Annual College Comedy Festival and Beanpot Competition in Cambridge on February 23rd. At the three-day event, the Gordon improv representatives took stage in a short-form, long-form and a line game competition.

This comedy competition, hosted by ImprovBoston and affectionately known as “Beanpot,” featured seventeen of Massachusetts’ collegiate comedy troupes. The competition takes place in a cramped, dark room that is “filled with laughter and energy.” Student participants, referred to by one member as being “of the similar breed of dorky people”, perform before an audience of paying customers, an experience Gordon’s very own troupe is entrusted only once a year. Although they did not make it to the overall finals, they scored very high, and the future of the Sweaty-Toothed Madmen is bright.

According to madman Trace Reynolds, when they won, the nine of them “screamed nonstop for twenty seconds.” “Shenanigans”, an improv team from Clark University that they had met the previous year, congratulated them with big hugs. Other teams that they had bonded with chanted “Sweaty!” when they made their way onstage.

All of the teams that attended were so supportive and jovial because of their understanding that they are all there for the same reason – to make people laugh. Despite this, some teams tend to take the competition more seriously than others. Julia Murphy remembers being shocked the first time she went to ImprovBoston last year, for she entered into “a room of people screaming at one another to warm up.” The Sweaty-Toothed Madmen tend to be far more relaxed in their approach.

Each of the nine members expressed that they simply valued the time that the competition gave them to bond with each other. The team went to the Asgard, an Irish pub in Cambridge, for a team dinner on Saturday night. Ryan Pavelski bought a tropical sailor hat at a thrift store that, according to Gabs Picariello, is “really awful.” Other team members were able to explore book stores together during downtime. Pavelski, one of the two seniors in the troupe, emphasized their intentional bonding time in saying, “These are the moments that I will really cherish the most.”

In addition to the onstage portion of the show, teams were granted the opportunity to attend improv workshops with the staff of ImprovBoston. Some of the featured performers were described by attendees as being “genius.” At a panel that they were able to listen in on, one man, in explaining why he did improv, said it was for “those sweet, sweet chuckles.” Thank you Sweaty-Tooth for always making us chuckle!

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