Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
BMT’s debut performance of their prize-winning sketch, in March. Photo by Miles Skorpen.
Swarthmore’s favorite (and only) sketch comedy group Boy Meets Tractor won a college comedy competition at the Helium Comedy Club, in Philadelphia, last week. According to group member Alex Friedman ’09, competition categories included both sketches and standup; other entrants in the sketch category included Haverford’s Lighted Fools and a group from the University of Pennsylvania, said Daniel Jamison ’08. The performance was BMT’s debut for a non-Swarthmore audience.
BMT performed a sketch that made its debut at last month’s “Comedy Blast-Off.” This sketch portrays the true lives of action figures as they are controlled by a boy and his sister; reminiscent of Toy Story, perhaps, but funnier. One character sits at a table and plays with the figurines, while others, dressed like the action figures they represent, act out their epic battles.
Madalyn Baldanzi ’08, said, “This is a sketch that I’m really proud of. The concept was something that we had been talking about for a really long time, then a few people finally went and wrote it…and we knew that we had something really special in our hands.”
The sketch was written by approximately four people over the course of one two-hour meeting, and then edited over several subsequent meetings. “We spend more of our time editing than writing, trying to get all the jokes just right,” said Jaminson.
Baldanzi found this performance, to be “really, really exciting.” She said that Swarthmore students have a “very particular sense of humor,” and she “sometimes wonders if things that make Swatties laugh would make other people laugh too.” This performance made it clear that BMT is popular even outside of the Swat crowd.
Although a tape was made at the Helium, Jamison did not know what was being done with it. He said that BMT had never filmed this sketch, and now probably never will.
As their reward for winning, the group will attend the Philadelphia Sketch-Fest in June. Because most of their members will not be on campus, they’re still figuring out what sketch they will perform.