Friday Night Live: a show filled with fun, nonsense and laughs

Friday Night Live: a show filled with fun, nonsense and laughs

Julie Coben ('11)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Laughter from over 300 audience members filled East’s auditorium on Friday, October 22 as SGA premiered its first ever Friday Night Live.

To start off the show, SGA advisor, Mr. Mike Dappolone, invited the Key of She, an FNL musical guest, to sing the national anthem. Afterwards, SGA President, Jason Warren (‘11) duplicated a common SNL opening skit, the Presidential Address, accompanied by various class officers. During the skit, Warren attempted to answer questions from the “audience” which included Kenny Soll (’11) and Dan Desrochers (‘11), regarding questions that only the actual President of the United States could answer. Frustrated, Warren advised the “press conference” to keep questions school-related, eventually announcing, “Live from Cherry Hill East, it’s Friday night!”

After all of the cast members were featured in a brief introductory video, FNL’s host, Mr. Greg Gagliardi appeared on stage. Gagliardi humored the audience with various jokes regarding topics such as what constitutes giving Dunkin Donut employees tips, outrageous sounds that come from neighboring bathroom stalls, the difference between followers on Twitter and followers in real life (which are stalkers) and the insignificance of wearing World Cup jerseys.

Various FNL cast members interrupted Gagliardi’s monologue. First, Warren offered Gagliardi an Applebees’ gift card in order to accompany him to the restaurant, a joke that reappeared throughout each FNL skit. Then, Soll asked Gagliardi to have a musical chairs re-match from the last fall’s Spirit Week pep rally, Ravin Patel (‘13) challenged him to a fast-walk walk-off, Adam Rosenthal (‘12) distracted Gagliardi with his unnecessary security guard tactics and, finally, Deroshers and Matt Bogdonoff (‘11) asked him to be in their new profile pictures for their Facebook pages.

The following skit was a parody of American Idol, which consisted of people auditioning for American Idol Season 15 with Gagliardi acting as the new host, Brian Dunkleman, a low-life, past contestant who replaced Ryan Seacrest. The judges included Mr. Cecil Leonard as Randy Jackson, Seth Levy (‘11) as JC Chasez and Jake Trommer (‘11) as Gordan Ramsey. The first unfortunate contestant was Billie Ray, played by Chris Sardone (‘11).  Billie Ray’s rendition of Whitney Houston’s  “I Will Always Love You” did not go over well among the very “qualified” judges. During the next audition, dynamic duo, Clyde Drexler and Wilt Chamberlain, played by Patel and Brad Cutler (‘11), attempted to sing a mash-up, but the song only consisted of one line of Howie Day’s “Collide.” Jackson said it was “pitchin’ all over the place.” Chasez noticed it “repeated the ‘thame’ word over and over.” Finally, the judges recognized talent within Katrina Hauck (‘11) during her rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Jackson gave Hauck the “dawg pound”, Chasez responded that her audition was “so delicious” and Ramsay could not help but scream how good she was, eventually giving her the ticket to Hollywood.

Next, Jordan Wohl (’11) and Dappolone participated in a skit in which they acted as father and son at an East Freshman Dance practicing various pick-up lines. During the skit, Dappolone offered his son, played by Wohl, valuable advice on how to win over a girl, but Wohl kept saying the “wrong” lines. For example, Dappolone dismissed Wohl’s pick-up line that contained a chemistry reference, in that “chemistry is for thirty-something-year-old fat guys with pit stains.”

Replicating an SNL classic skit, Matt Tarnopol (‘11) and Levy informed the audience on their views on extremely “important” news topics in “Weekend Update with Matt Tarnopol and Seth Levy.” Special guests graced the Weekend Update desk such as Bogdonoff, who played an aspiring equipment manager named Doug and believes that becoming a basketball equipment manager is far more important than pursuing a college education. Within the skit, Tarnopol and Levy argued over their lines, insisting that the other was unprepared for the show. The skit turned out to be a crowd pleaser.

“[Weekend Update] was definitely my favorite skit,” said Mr. Greg deWolf.

Another SNL skit imitation, as a variation of “Brian Fellows – Safari Planet” appeared on the FNL stage when Sardone starred in “Ryan Meadows-Antarctic Planet.” During this skit, Meadows called in various animals such as Penny the Penguin played by Patel, a walrus played by Wohl and an owl played by Rebecca Greenberg (‘11). When the walrus made an appearance, Meadows noticed, “[the walrus was] so big, [he] could probably beat Erdong Chen (‘11) in Wing Bowl.” During the owl’s appearance, Meadows confused it for a polar bear, eventually having a delayed reaction to its real, obvious identity. Eventually he makes the owl and its owner, played by Gagliardi, leave the show because he thought they tried to “upstage [him].”

Some of FNL’s other original skits included “The Gym Sketch,” in which Andrew Adler (‘13) and Greg Weinstock (‘13) performed as potential gym members with Sardone and Wohl, who played their Hispanic gym instructors with ridiculously odd and uncomfortable exercise methods such as “crab position crunches.” Meanwhile, Wohl shocked the crowd with his too-tight singlet. Overall, the ridiculous behavior of the two instructors proved to be too much for the two potential gym members, Adler and Weinstock, as they eventually left.

Steve Jobs made it into a well-appreciated FNL skit when Cutler imitated him during one of his infamous Apple presentations. Continuously he asked for “a round of applause for [himself].” During the skit, Cutler imitated the insignificance and redundancy of Jobs’ innovations. For example, he presented some of Apple’s “new products” such as the: iBoard, iJacket, iStapler, iClock, iLid, iBall and iLash. Amongst audience members who asked Jobs questions included Trommer, who acted as Bill Gates, and Soll. During one interruption, Soll questioned Jobs about the significance of such products, to which Jobs replied, “Apple made it…so you will buy it.”

The last FNL skit, a crowd favorite, included all members of the FNL cast and featured guests in “Teachers in High School.” Within the classroom were Warren as Mr. John Valore, Wohl as Dappolone, Cutler as Mr. CJ Davis, Patel as Ms. Kelly Germsheid, Soll as Gagliardi, Levy as Mr. Mike Melograna, Greenberg as Mrs. Susan Melograna, Sardone as Mr. Tom Rosenberg, Bogdonoff as Mr. Tom Howard, Adler as deWolf and Trommer as Mr. Keith Kovalevich.

Audience members could easily recognize the East teachers’ imitators through their “defining actions.” For example, Levy imitated Melograna’s devotion to being on the basketball team, Bogdonoff and Sardone portrayed Howard and Rosenberg’s “bromance,” Warren used some of Valore’s most infamous lines and Wohl expressed Dappolone’s love for food by ordering a pizza in the middle of class. The skit seemed to grab the audience’s attention the most out of all the others, ending the night with a certainly memorable skit.

“The teachers in high school skit was top-notch,” said Jonni Cassano (’13). “The actors fitted the teachers’ personalities tremendously. The Mr. Howard interpretation was great,” he said.

In addition to live performances, FNL also consisted of various videos including a parody of “MTV Cribs,” starring Tarnopol, and a skit involving the chess team participating in a tournament with boys’ varsity basketball player, Chris Santo (‘11), subbing in to play in the final match, and boys’ varsity basketball head coach, Valore, entering as the new chess team coach to replace Mr. Greg Rouen.

In between skits, various musical guests entertained the audience. The Inspirational Band, led by Leonard, played songs such as: “I’m a Soul Man”, “Come Together” and “Waiting on the World to Change.” Also providing musical components to the show included East’s girls’ a cappella group, the Key of She and Kneehigh Spunk.

The Key of She sang Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I am” and Cyndi Lauper’s classic, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” in which Cat Cargen (‘11) had a solo. Kneehigh Spunk sang their rendition of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” and a mash-up of recent hit songs combined with their favorite oldies.

When the show came to an end, the FNL cast was pleased with the outcome of the evening.

“I think it was astonishingly good,” said Dappolone. “It was much better than we anticipated.”

Many of the audience members appreciated the new show and believed it should be an event that is repeated in the future at East.

Lilly Campbell (‘12) said, “I think [the show] was hilarious and it should definitely be an annual tradition, just like Mr. East.”

Overall, FNL certainly was entertaining for both the audience and those who participated. After weeks of preparation and much laughter, the first ever Friday Night Live will hopefully be the first of many to come.



All photos by Julie Coben (’11)/ Eastside Editor-in Chief