Finding a good laugh at Boston College isn’t hard—life becomes a lot less serious when you get rejected from an Ivy League school, and the halls of Gasson are just swarming with Harvard rejects and Cornell waitlists. Comedy can be found all around: at a New England Classic meeting in the Rat, at a My Mother’s “hey-did-you-know-Amy-Poehler-BC-’93-was-in” Fleabag show in the breathtaking, ghost-free O’Connell House, at one of Hello…Shovelhead!’s performances in Fulton 511, or even in the BC Memes for Jesuit Tweens Facebook group.
But who is really behind all this humor? Whose Vandy eight-man is the birthplace of the memes with the most laugh reacts? Who is the mastermind behind the sketch comedy that sends students jaunting through asinine tales of belt-slinging murders and Buzzfeed journalists who ask the tough questions? What is Brett Kavanaugh’s zodiac sign anyway?
Enjay Brown, MCAS ’19
Memes don’t make themselves. Who better to make laughs out of leftover meal plan money than Enjay Brown? He serves as a moderator in the BC Memes for Jesuit Tweens Facebook group. Brown found himself in the unique position after posting a few zingers in the group and submitting an application via Google Docs. As a moderator, Brown’s job is to make sure that the posts stay appropriate—there are certain topics that are better left without satire for Brown.
“Things that aren’t politically correct—racism, homophobia—those things aren’t funny to joke about,” Brown said.
At a cool 618 likes, his most-liked post in the group followed the hand-hitting-a -“nut”-button format. Brown added his own spin to make it more topical during finals week last December, replacing “nut” with “wife” and captioning it “When she says she has $500 left on her meal plan.” He often gets his general inspiration for memes on Instagram or from friends and attempts to relate the joke to BC.
Brown also provides the comedic relief behind the scenes at practices for The Acoustics, an a cappella group of which he is the president.
“The funniest thing that Enjay has ever done [was] during auditions,” John Blair, fellow Acoustics member and MCAS ’21, said in an email. “I had written my name as Johnny B on my name-tag as a joke, and Enjay thought it was so funny that every time I walked in the room with an auditioner he would introduce me like a DJ and say ‘J J J J JOHNNY B ON THE MC.’”
Brown has also put personal touches on his comedy through little catchphrases. One of his favorite catch phrases made it into the skits at the The Acoustics’ Fall Cafe last year. Throughout the night the group followed words that ended in “er” with “I barely even know her.”
Brown’s Tinder bio follows the same set up—“Tinder? I barely even know her.” If you ever come across his Tinder profile, swiping right will reward you a solid pick-up line. When asked about his best, Brown pulled out his phone in the middle of the interview to read one of his favorites verbatim.
“Weird that this app says you’re 8 miles away—I always thought heaven was a lot farther that that,” Brown said.
The Zodiac Killer? Brown barely even knows her. While he is decently convinced that Ted Cruz is the notorious serial killer, he also had a brief encounter with a man who looked like the sketch of the cold case killer outside his local bank in his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y. If memes don’t work out for Brown, maybe murder investigations will. Has anyone seen Ted Cruz in Mount Vernon recently?
Laura Huepenbecker, MCAS ’19
Comedy is performance art and a way of life for Minneapolis native Laura Huepenbecker. In prior years, Huepenbecker split time charming prospective parents and students with her warm humor as a member of the Student Admissions Program and advocating for sustainability efforts through EcoPledge. Her true passion lies with sketch comedy, and she has decided to devote her final year at BC to transforming Fulton 511 into a laugh factory as the director of Hello…Shovelhead!
Talk is cheap for Huepenbecker. Her humor lies in action—whether acting as an obnoxious Buzzfeed correspondent in a skit she wrote for the sketch comedy group Hello…Shovelhead! last year or misinterpreting the group Halloween costume idea during her freshman year:
“All my friends and I were going to be Chipotle burritos,” Huepenbecker said. “I come out in a full garb. I had gotten all this foil and stuffed myself with lettuce and I even had one of those red crates as a helmet. All of [my friends] were wearing like black Chipotle shirts and were like the workers.”
The night unraveled for the overstuffed burrito when she spilled her drink and fell in love from afar on the Newton bus. A tale as old as time. Huepenbecker unintentionally ditches her usually raspy voice when chatting up potential suitors like the one she spotted on the Newton bus that night.
“I know my voice sounds like I’ve been smoking 85 cigs a day and I’m a 90-year-old man—I get that,” Huepenbecker said. “I sound like I’m the black plague. But [my voice] somehow can change when I’m flirting with someone to the point where it makes me feel like I turn into Scarlett Johansson in The Jungle Book.”
Huepenbecker looks to the stars for love advice as an avid believer in horoscopes. Due to her emotional Capricorn nature, she’s likely to shed a tear when reading a good book—even when tears are totally uncalled for. Huepenbecker admitted to crying about Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, a non-fiction history of man.
Huepenbecker isn’t afraid to put herself out there and she’s up for any dare. Huepenbecker and her roommates keep a dare jar in their room that is always open for suggestions. Past dares have included swimming in the fountain across from O’Neill and getting lunch with a Jesuit. Perhaps they can discuss the worst joke she’s heard in a while—“what’s the difference between a pimple and a priest?”—over some Hillside mac ’n’ cheese, the superior mac ’n’ cheese on campus, according to Huepenbecker.
Lex Losse, MCAS ’20
You won’t see Lex Losse donning outlandish garb on stage at a comedy show or peddling for likes in the BC Memes for Jesuit Tweens Facebook group—a clever conversationalist, Losse is proof that not everyone has to be a formal comedian to make the people laugh. In fact, her only on-campus involvement is with Strong Women Strong Girls.
Losse’s sense of humor is like the supply of 18-to-22 year old men on Tinder in the Boston area: versatile, seemingly endless, and at times not safe for work. Her preferred form of humor is conversational banter that errs on the side of sarcastic. Quick-witted and approachable, Losse’s comedic style puts those in her presence at ease, making those who have only known her for two minutes feel like they’ve known her for two years. Even in an interview setting, she quickly turned the tables, posing a f—k, marry, kill scenario involving characters from Dora The Explorer: Swiper, the map, and the backpack—the answer isn’t as obvious as you would think.
“Lex’s humor is very situational and off hand,” Steve Ebert, Losse’s close friend and CSON ’20, said in a text message. “At any moment she can conjure up a funny story—whether true or not—that loosely relates to the current topic of discussion or setting.”
Her conversations quickly veer down unexpected paths: the time she sat in the pew in front of Bill Gates in her hometown of Bellevue, Wash., the Harry Styles fanfiction she read to her friends the previous night, her Mormon wedding story, and her theory that Toby Flenderson from The Office is the Zodiac Killer, in addition to the Scranton Strangler of course. Her zodiac sign is Taurus, but she aired some suspicion about how accurate horoscopes are.
“Do I believe in horoscopes?” Losse said. “One hundred percent. No actually maybe 25 percent. I take from them what I want.”
Although she has only ever read one article in The Heights, she keeps up with BC trends to keep her jokes relevant. At the height of the Wonder Bar frenzy her freshman year, her go-to joke was an interrogation-style mockery of the popular spot’s patrons, a joke she considers her worst. She employs a similar tactic when confronting a new romantic interest for the first time.
“I just quickly ask a bunch of questions before they know what’s going on,” Losse said.
For Losse, it doesn’t take a lot to laugh, but it doesn’t take much to cry either. She admitted to shamelessly crying to every episode of This is Us, but bashfully detailed shedding a few tears during We Bought a Zoo. Her controversial takes on movies don’t stop there. Her hottest hot take?
“Princess Diaries 2 is the best Princess Diaries,” Losse said.
Mike Bamford, MCAS ’20
Mike Bamford is a part of improv group My Mother’s Fleabag and the BC Men’s Club Soccer team, but more importantly he was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. An Italian from West Windsor, N.J. with white Tommy Hilfiger sneakers that he isn’t afraid to draw attention to, Bamford is somewhat of a hot commodity on campus.
Bamford’s brand of humor is more “off the wall” and “a bit risque.” Judging by a mug covered with words that don’t belong in print and vanilla-flavored dental dams he placed on the table in the parent-filled CoRo Cafe before the interview—both of which were birthday gifts from Losse, who Bamford believes is the funniest person at BC—he wasn’t kidding. Bamford is extremely dedicated to his comedy and will do just about anything to make sure the joke lands. He fearlessly starred as a dangerous murderer whose choice of weapon is a belt in Belt Mike at Fleabag’s Spring Big Show last year. His provocative comedy doesn’t cut to the credits when he leaves the stage: After achieving the impossible by getting into a Mod party as a freshman boy, he walked up to a random girl and said, “I need you to calm down, but this is Ralph Lauren” to fulfill a dare. This remains his best pickup line to date.
It might be hard to find Bamford swiping on Tinder—he revealed he doesn’t believe in soul mates. If that wasn’t enough to make Aristotle roll over in his grave, Bamford continued with his unconventional musings. In between poetry-reading style snaps, Bamford revealed he believes the Zodiac Killer is more abstract than popular opinion might suggest: His prime suspects are the Spanish Inquisition and God.
While he might not know who is married to Kim Kardashian, Bamford knows his Seinfeld references. Challenged with the holy trinity of f—k, marry, kill options—Bill Gates, Ace Ventura, and Kramer from Seinfeld—Bamford immediately pointed to Kramer’s alluring “kavorka,” or the Latvian term for “the lure of the animal.” After further deliberation about the prospect of having Bill Gates as a sugar daddy, Bamford settled on f—king Bill Gates, marrying Kramer, and killing Ace Ventura.
A true man for others, Bamford describes himself as “generous with [his] laughs,” at least to the general public. It is not so easy to make Bamford cry, perhaps because he is an Aries, a zodiac sign that is notorious for emotional distance. Bamford pointed to his red shirt as another indicator of his zodiac sign.
“I watched The Fault in Our Stars, and I thought it was a little funny,” Bamford said.
Pablo Cardenal, LSOE ’20
Not all RAs are out to get you—Pablo Cardenal just wants to get you to laugh. An RA in Duchesne Hall, Cardenal is a junior living on Newton, but he finds the Newton memes—whether about the notorious Newton bus or the “sense of community”—in the same state as leftover BC Dining bagels around 1 p.m.: stale and underwhelming.
Cardenal is the mastermind behind some of the most liked memes in BC history. As a moderator his job is to make sure the content is respectful, but Cardenal holds the group’s memes to a higher standard than most. For Cardenal, a good meme is universal and original.
“When I create memes I focus not on the joke, but a big theme that can bring multiple jokes from different angles [together] to make it more inclusive and safe,” Cardenal said.
His most ambitious project cost him five hours of brainstorming and editing with the help of his former roommate Andy Backstrom, sports editor for The Heights and MCAS ’20. Hard work pays off in likes: The “BC Meets Pixar” movie clip montage has garnered over 1,800 likes since March due to clever comparisons of mozz sticks to the fine Italian cuisine of Ratatouille and BC diversity to a toy aisle filled with the same model of Buzz Lightyear action figures.
The thematic nature of his humor extends to his everyday interactions as well: Cardenal picked up on an odd tendency of his sophomore year suitemate Mike Vaiarella, CSOM ’20, to choose Yoshi when playing Super Smash Bros. Melee.
“Whenever I’d see Pablo around in the room or walking by on campus he’d be like, ‘Yoshi,’” Vaiarella said in the voice of the Super Mario character. “It’s just little things like that—It would just be something that we did once and then it would be a theme for awhile.”
Cardenal’s personal brand of humor stems from a childlike imagination: Cardenal describes himself as having the sense of humor of a 5-year-old. The Nicaragua native often turns to cartoons for inspiration because he admires animation’s ability to transcend limitations of reality.
Although Cardenal has never laughed so hard he cried, he has laughed so hard he puked. In minute seven of a challenge to see who could hold water in their mouth the longest, a clever onlooker exploited his weakness for Shrek as soon as Cardenal closed his eyes: Cardenal’s once-trustworthy confidant taunted him by saying “Just because you close your eyes doesn’t mean Shrek isn’t there.” This statement caused Cardenal to spit water everywhere, after which he puked on the floor.
Cardenal confessed that he once used humor “as social currency to be integrated into many groups,” such as his RA group and Appalachia volunteers group for which he makes specific memes. Today Cardenal has adopted his humor as an inextricable facet of his personality.
“I’m funny because I like to be funny and I like to make people laugh,” Cardenal said.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor