Take nine friends’ best inside jokes, add New York University (NYU) theater degrees, a few argyle sweater-vests, plus five million YouTube hits and you might just end up with the hilarity that is the Harvard Sailing Team.
This New York City-based sketch comedy group is bringing its highly acclaimed wit to Miami University Wednesday.
The Harvard Sailing Team gained widespread exposure through YouTube videos such as “Boys Will Be Girls” and “Puppy Pictures,” and they have since appeared on CBS, VH1 and Comedy Central and also hosted a weekly show in New York’s People Improv Theater.
Although none are Harvard graduates or sail, they draw inspiration from the Ivy League vibe of preppy and clean-cut images in their sketches.
According to Rebecca Delgado Smith, who is one-ninth of the team, “We take mundane or odd things that happen in reality and our everyday life and take them to an absurd level.”
Their polo-shirt wardrobe is just one piece of the team’s personality. Their “absurdist reality” style is comparable to Saturday Night Live or Funny or Die, and they’ve coined phrases like “it’s totes the best hun cal fro yo.”
“They have a good sense of humor and it’s not a stupid humor like you see in other YouTube videos; it’s very sophisticated and well thought out,” first-year Britton Troth said.
Although their videos are nationally recognized, the group prefers performing live, Delgado Smith said.
“We enjoy being together and we use the opportunity to make fun of each other,” she said. “Any chance we can do that is much appreciated.”
After the group’s college days at NYU, the four men and five women that make up the team more like close friends than coworkers.
“We’re more like a family at this point,” Delgado Smith said. “We finish each other’s sentences and we know exactly what to do to make [each other] mad; it’s definitely a family dynamic.”
And it is this dynamic that makes the sketches and videos more fun to rehearse, perform and then watch, she said.
“We’re very fun and collaborative; our way of doing things is more of an open environment which forms us into more of a group mind instead of each of us having an individual script,” Delgado Smith said.
After years of having the idea to bring the Harvard Sailing Team to Miami, the Campus Activities Council (CAC) finally pursued the group.
There was a significant price tag, according to senior Brie Sakach, a co-chair of CAC, but said CAC is satisfied with the cost.
“We’re looking for the crowd to get a good laugh and enjoy themselves; that’s the main goal,” Sakach said.
According to Delgado Smith, students can expect a fun-filled show with a mixture of familiar and new acts, plus a few singing and dancing surprises.
“We encourage people who haven’t heard of them to go; we just show them their videos and it doesn’t take much convincing after that,” Sakach said.
The group will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Taylor Auditorium (Room 1000) in the Farmer School of Business. Tickets are free to students and can be picked up at the Shriver Center Box Office.