Yale-Harvard Weekend in Gravy

A member of the Fifth Humour boldly pours gravy over his head in a Thanksgiving-themed sketch

Every November, Yale and Harvard must battle it out in a competition of strategy, tenacity, and courage. In order to see which college reigns supreme, teams from each school must come head to head in what some people call “the most exciting event of the season.” And no, I am not talking about football. To some readers’ disappointment, this is not a blog post about the annual Yale-Harvard football game that takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This is a blog post about collegiate comedy groups.

Yale's improv group The Purple Crayon on stage performing improv for an excited audience.

During the same weekend of the aforementioned big football game, comedy groups from either faction can come together to do what they do best (or at least try to): perform. Because that weekend is an opportunity for students from one school to meet those at the other (when everyone has traveled north or south for Saturday afternoon’s main event), there are usually dozens of other activities going on Friday and Saturday night. From concerts and jam sessions to mixers and meet-and-greets, the weekend is packed with special events to attend. This includes, of course, an entire array of comedy shows and mixers.

Members of the Fifth Humour perform a suspenseful sketch, one character about to pour gravy on his head.
A pic from our show… 

This fall, my sketch comedy group teamed up with two other improv groups (one from Yale and one from Harvard) to put on a comedy spectacular where we all performed side-by-side. Calling it the “Yale-Harvard-Yale Leftover Turkey Sandwich Show: A Comedic Feast,” we fought it out for the most laughs the Friday night before the game. I ended up bathing myself in gravy for one of our sketches… oh, the things we do for attention!

Poster for The Fifth Humour's comedy show
Our poster for the event!

How did this come about? Before the weekend arrives, groups from both Yale and Harvard coordinate if they’d like to join forces to put on a special event. For comedy, these groups include improv, sketch, stand-up, humor writing, and more! However, there are a ton of other groups that co-host events, like STEM mixers or dance showcases, that both Yale and Harvard kids can participate in. And these festivities go way into the night, as break has started and everyone gets a kick out of seeing new faces on campus.

Some members of the Fifth Humour stack wigs backstage for a sketch where characters build a wig tower.
Some “Humours” backstage

So even though the weekend is centered around rivalry to some extent, it is really just a great opportunity to come together with new people – maybe even making some fresh friends you can see again next year! For the Leftover Turkey Sandwich Show, we all brought different ingredients to the table, but in the end, we were best enjoyed altogether.