It’s 3:45 p.m. on a cold, blustery Thursday afternoon at Springfield College. Your professor has let you out of your final class, inserting the key into the lock of the educational shackles that you put on every weekday, freeing you of all responsibility and dedication for at least the next 15 hours or so. As you leave the building you’ve been sitting in for, by your estimations, an eternity, you feel the relief you’ve been thinking about since you woke up this morning. Just as you think it’s time to zone out and go back to your warm, more entertaining dorm room, you bump into a girl walking by, leaving her splayed out in the slush and snow. She’s beautiful, too- more so than anyone you’ve seen on campus before. As you extend your arm and help your now-soaked target up, you think of smooth things to say, something to impress her. Easy, right? You nervously open your mouth to speak, but all that comes out, to your dismay is “Hey, that’ll remind you to be more careful next time, huh?” The girl flips you the bird and keeps walking, intent on leaving you alone in your smooth-as-a-Springfield-sidewalk bubble. And that, my disappointed friend, is exactly what Saturday, January 31 at 8:00 P.M. in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union was for.
“Dave and Ethan,” the traveling college dating-coach show, focused on the night life and romance (or lack thereof) of the Springfield College campus, and how to improve upon it. The two childhood friends started performing shortly after March 2008, when they posted a Craigslist ad “To meet our future wives, or to at least get tons of sex,” remembered Ethan, the guitar-playing half of the duo, in an email response. “It’s kinda crazy that the initial desire to simply meet some ladies has turned into this long-lasting brand that just keeps growing.”
The duo performed in front of a packed nighttime Union crowd full of students there for the comedy, students there for the advice, students there because someone they wanted to get with was there, and students who were there just because (possibly) they were a tad bit inebriated. The mood of the room was calm. Nobody knew what to expect for a dating advice show, as they always differ depending on the host.
Your school’s dating scene is weak! said the flier picked up on the way in. We’re here to help! Coming out to below-average applause, Dave and Ethan seemed to understand that it was up to them to make the crowd interested and, with impressive dedication, they did their homework on how to relate to Springfield College students and their daily life.
“We always interview students before performing at any school. We arrive an hour or two before the show specifically to get the scoop, and then we integrate this information into our show, creating a unique experience for the students we’re performing for,” said Ethan. It was apparent that he was telling the truth. Bringing up Cheney Hall student-favorite chefs and campus figures, the two had the union bellowing with laughter with their skit, which they called, “A day in the life of the average female Springfield college student.” It pointed out the widespread disappointment in the campus townhouses, the sometimes lacking romance and creativity on campus, and the basic ways to remedy them. While the sense of the room was that most people knew the information they were being told, it didn’t take away from the fun in any way.
Probably the most interesting part of the show was the crowd participation, and the way Dave and Ethan used four lucky (or unlucky, depending on who you ask) contestants to participate in a show similar to The Dating Game, with one girl asking three guys questions about how they would treat her if she were dating them. Bachelor #1 was the winner, taking home the win with corny pickup lines about polar bears and breaking ice. The routine was on-the-spot, and Dave and Ethan didn’t expect much out of the three contestants, which made it even more fun.
To end the night, the two sang and played a few songs that they composed, harmonizing in what could only be described as something similar to Jack Black and Kyle Gass in the movie Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. Leaving behind the night and a crowd that had turned from calm and composed to wily and thoroughly entertained, the two didn’t necessarily improve the dating scene at Springfield, but they did improve the mood. Slowly, they faded into a crowd of college students, done for the night. And after a show like that, everyone else was done for the night too; a sign that they walked away entertained, waiting for the next time the guys come back.
“Of course we would come back. We’ve been here three times, and each time is more fun than the last.”
Hard to imagine that two normal, ordinary dudes could put together a better amassment of corny jokes, crowd participation, and music while still educating people about dating.