By Molly Szymanski
Maryland Night Live hosted its sixth comedy and music show on Saturday, April 10, bringing wacky and topical sketches to their online event held on YouTube Live.
The show was hosted by junior math major Rachel Niswander, who has been involved with the organization since Fall 2019. Her opener seemed just like any other until she was Zoom-bombed by politicians Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ronald Reagan, played by other MNL cast members.
“I wanted to embrace the online format a lot and make the host position interactive,” Niswander said. “Sometimes SNL hosts just do stand-up which is great, but not being able to hear an audience in a virtual show makes stand-up much tougher.”
Following Niswander’s interrupted monologue, various sketches were performed. Sophomore communication major Jayson Borenstein, senior computer science major Josh Blume and freshman English major Carey Cameron fought in the age-old war of butts versus boobs and the segment “Locked In” parodied Maryland football coach Mike Locksley’s signature slogan with a horror movie twist.
Despite their online format, the team was not afraid to experiment with new ways to present their comedy. “Scam Callers,” featuring senior biology and psychology major Stephanie Moy and junior theatre and government major Sam Intrater, flipped perspectives back and forth between two scam-calling bots who fell in love, which combined the actors’ talent with expert production.
“Not only was it hilarious, but it feels like something I’ve never seen before,” Blume said.
The first musical guest to perform was The Missing Peace, a rock band formed in 2018 by junior information science and economics major Nick Pascale and junior computer science and finance major Luke Amato along with their friend Lazarus, a Towson University physics student. They played their song “DIDURDIKLY,” which is their most popular track off of their recent EP, “garage.”
The second performance by Still Daylight, consisting of junior philosophy and government major Benny Roman, Tim Younghands and Maryland alums Cory Moorefield and Sam Ehrlich, contrasted the upbeat former musical guest with covers of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”
“I definitely wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try playing some more upbeat stuff,” Roman said. “Especially during these times, I think fun and exciting was probably the best route to go.”
The event concluded with “YesStarrDay,” a parody of the movie “Yesterday,” where people only remember Ringo Starr, and a segment of UMD Alerts where sophomore journalism and government major Megan Barnes and sophomore music education major Devon Rafanelli covered hot-off-the-press topics with special guests and a foul Muppet-filled animated tribute to Maryland alum Jim Henson.
“It was fun to give voice acting a chance even if it was only a couple of lines,” Niswander, who voiced Bert in the sketch, said.
Nearly a semester’s worth of two-hour Zoom meetings came to fruition on Saturday, and despite not being in-person, the audience remained active in the chat, hyping up the performers throughout the entire show. Even after a year-long pandemic, Maryland Night Live thrives in bringing comedy in a new way.
Follow MNL on Instagram at @mdnightlive.
Follow The Missing Peace on Instagram at @tmptheband.
Follow Still Daylight on Instagram at @stilldaylightmusic.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Night Live.
Molly Szymanski is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.