by Blaine Payer ’18
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit with an apple, and then it is even funnier. Six Gents, Providence College’s premiere sketch comedy group, filled a packed Ryan Concert Hall with laughter on Sept. 20 during their first performance of the year. The group had some comically big prop shoes to fill after saying goodbye to five talented seniors, and they did not disappoint. With everything from coffee-themed trips down memory lane, angry fruit trees in the Land of Oz, and even a Providence College Men’s Soccer cameo, Six Gents reminded everyone that when the going gets tough, it is best to just make fun of it in front of an audience.
Six Gents has always leaned towards the profane and controversial, garnering quite the reputation among members of the faculty and administration. While students may love to see caricatures of the names that clog up their email inboxes line up on a “Celebrity Jeopardy” stage, others may not find it so easy to laugh at. “This is parody,” member Ivan Vukusic ’18 remarked, “and in parody, you’re just looking at reality because reality is funny, but it’s only funny if people relate to it.”
The ethos of the Saturday Night Live-esque group has always been to find something that everyone on campus has an opinion about and exploit it for laughs. The biggest topic to fall into their crosshairs was the newly christened Calabria Torch on Slavin Lawn, which has already gained quite the reputation around campus.
Nonetheless, the flame has brought students together to join in a common discourse. In fact, Vukusic believes that the most rewarding part of performing in the group is how comedy and laughter brings everyone together for a common cause. “We are part of the school, you know,” Vukusic says, “And comedy is like, we just keep going on that road together even if it’s bumpy.”
The group’s messages of inclusivity reached their climax when Men’s Soccer star Colin Miller ’18 made a cameo appearance as a newborn baby with an affinity for kicking strangers at the DMV in one of the highlight sketches of the night, “Kicking Babies.” After he chased his rival off the stage, he made a brief statement about how he loves to support the arts as well as the sports at PC, and encouraged everyone in the audience to do the same. “It goes with every comedy group, they have their thing…but we like to include other groups if we can,” Vukusic added.
Although returning audience members lost some crowd favorite recurring sketches like “PC Celebrity Jeopardy” and the wonderful adventures of Johnny, the legally deaf receptionist at a bouncy castle emporium, some heavy hitters stepped up to take their place. In one filler improv session, Vukusic starred as an apple tree who, upon discovering he is planted next to an orange tree, played by Six Gents President, A.J. Roskam ’18, is appalled. Towards the end of the show, all of the upperclassmen in the audience went back in time to laugh at the tragic life of a goodie-two-shoes orientation leader and an all-too-excited incoming freshman as they square off against the cool OL that everyone wants to party with. It made us laugh, sigh, and cringe all at the same time.
With the acceptance of five new members after auditions on Sept. 24, the future is looking bright for the Gents. When asked what we can all expect over the next two semesters, Ivan took a sip of his coffee, smiled, and said, “Guaranteed free laughs.”