The Daily Gamecock

Comedy for a cause: Carolina Tonight teams up with USCDM

In its first show of the semester, Carolina Tonight partnered with USC Dance Marathon at Benson Theater for a night of comedy sketches and laughs. The live comedy show, a USC version of Saturday Night Live, was a hit this past Saturday, featuring USCDM head of productions Camille Marks, as the host and Carolina Gents as a musical guest. Starting with an intro video reminiscent of SNL that panned to prominent Columbia buildings and named the cast members,Carolina Tonight raised money for a good cause while also giving the audience a good time.

USC’s premier comedy broadcast show, Carolina Tonight started in the spring 2016 semester. Executive producer and technical director John Dowdy, a fourth-year media arts student, said he joined when the creators of the show came up with the idea of starting a live broadcast show early last year. They went straight to Dowdy to help them run the show, and he has been with them ever since, ensuring that Carolina Tonight’s livestream runs smoothly.

The cast of Carolina Tonight meets once a week in the weeks before the show to plan the sketches. Luke Baker, a third-year marketing and management student, said that collaboration when writing the show is key to the process.

“We collaborate on a lot," Baker said. "It’s usually written by one or more people."

In the last week before the show, the cast practiced every night, memorizing lines and preparing for their live audience.

Since Carolina Tonight partnered with USCDM this week to help raise money for the event, some of the sketches focused on the Dance Marathon, mainly emphasizing that it isn’t a competition but is FTK — not an acronym for “Free the Kangaroos,” but “For the Kids.” First-year journalism and global studies student Maddox Greene, a “call-on” performer for the show, said that the USCDM skit was her favorite.

“Watching that being rehearsed was really funny,” she said.

The production was filled with jokes about current events in the USC Update, the SNL counterpart being the Weekend Update. Baker, one of the hosts of USC Update, said that the script of this sketch isn’t even written until Thursday before the show, because what was relevant a week ago won’t be by the time it is performed live. He even mentioned that information about Kim Jong Nam’s murder changed the morning of the show, and the joke had to be changed last minute.

Whether you are an avid attendee of Carolina Tonight or not, be sure not to miss out on the next performance of Carolina Tonight on March 25. In the words of Baker, “It’s a blast.”