What happened to fall comedy?
First Friday came and went this year without the likes of Seth Meyers or John Oliver performing to the delight of the student body. Naturally, this set off a few alarm bells; alarm bells that continue to ring as the First 40 Days begin to come to a close.
There is currently no published information regarding the fall comedy show. We don’t know who is coming, and we don’t know when or where the show is going to take place. While Campus Programming Council was unwilling to confirm if it had a scheduled performer, Student Union representatives indicated that CPC had indeed booked one. It is perfectly legitimate to want to reveal the identity of a big speaker on a group’s own terms, but there is no information on their website that speaks to any of this. Students would at least find a reveal date announcement to be comforting.
Students seeking additional clues to CPC’s plans for a comedy show might notice that its website lists funding for this year as $1000. The number on the website is especially jarring when compared not only to previous years’ totals ($60,568.00 for 2011-12, $177,085.00 for 2010-11)—but also to the amount actually allocated for this year’s event. According to SU’s Vice President for Finance, senior Ammar Karimjee, the budget for comedy talent this year is $62,000. According to the General Budget, CPC requested $65,000 for the fall semester and $30,000 for the spring semester. When official statistics disagree with published ones by such a large amount, there is at the very least an issue of transparency, if not one of dishonesty with students.
Plans for a fall comedian seem particularly complex when a location is considered. Should CPC have the show at the Edison Theatre, as it has in past years, the venue is unavailable until February. CPC has asked for a February date to be held, so there is a possibility of a fall comedy show taking place in the spring. This would seem to run contrary to the general budget that has outlined one show to take place a semester, with money allocated for such a purpose.
This is something that should have been on the schedule since last spring, when the SU General Budget was allocated, but misinformation, or a complete lack of information, is all that we have been able to find. Last year, the identity of the speaker (John Oliver) broke on Aug. 22, 2011. Generally, CPC does not have to worry about student reaction like Team 31 does because their choices are non-polarizing, unlike W.I.L.D. headliner choices. The mere fact that Team 31’s announcement preceded CPC’s is enough to raise concern. Add that to the fact that the Edison Theater was booked for First Friday but went unused and the disorganization of the fall comedy becomes all the more apparent. Hopefully CPC will actually address what is happening with the show, but all circumstances considered, it seems unlikely that we will be seeing a fall comedian on campus this semester.
Note: This editorial originally stated that CPC was allocated $65,000 and $30,000 for its fall and spring comedy shows, respectively, but that was actually the amount requested. The actual amount funded for 2012-13 is $62,000. Student Life apologizes for the error.