Winners and Losers: RNL XVI Edition


RNL XVI: 16 Going on 17 premieres this Friday, and it has already generated some impressive endorsements:

“To describe this show, I'll borrow some words said at least once by my grandmother, Hillary Clinton when she decides to be less uptight but not so much so that she appears weak...’this show is hilarious!’” says cast member Francesca Petrucci (we 23 and Me’d her to confirm the genealogy).

Yet, I feel it is my duty to inform you, my loyal readers, what you should be prepared for because there aren’t all winners involved in RNL. Nuh-uh, it isn’t all damn millennial participation trophies, nope, there are some losers too—and I’m going to sort it out for you.

So, without further ado…esketit:

LOSER: Saturday Night Live

I know I spent an entire blog post last semester talking about how much better RNL is than SNL, but I felt it was necessary to reassert that claim here. This semester’s RNL proves they can do way better what SNL attempts to do in 90 minutes in a mere 60.

RNL Representative, Chris Michael, attributes RNL’s success to “our creative freedom. We've been able to do sketches on pretty much anything and we don't have to worry about the FCC.”

But, let’s be clear: SNL has a worse cast (it hasn’t been the same since Tina Fey left), worse writing (it hasn’t been the same since Tina Fey left), and worse commentary (it hasn’t been the same since Tina Fey left).

So, SNL, how does it feel to lose again to a state school?


This is RJ’s first Cabaret Theatre event, and so naturally I had relatively no idea who he was, given that my frame of reference does not go beyond Facebook meme pages, obscure subreddits, and Cabaret.

“My performance background is comedy shows for College Avenue Players, stand-up comedy, and hosting events like Dance Marathon,” RJ says.


That’s two (2) things to do with comedy and one to do with hosting, which makes me pretty secure he knows what he’s doing, and spoiler(!)—he knows what he’s doing. Imagine Dane Cook, except way cleaner and neater, with jokes that weren’t stolen, and actually funny (so I guess imagine the polar opposite of Dane Cook).

“RNL has been like a family to me these past couple weeks. Working with everyone has honestly been a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Everyone has been really welcoming and made me feel not just like the host, but a true part of the show,” he says, as I let out one big “awwwww.”

LOSER: Physically personified iPhone 6s, who are apparently upheld to state leash laws

Speaking with cast member Madhu Murali, she tells me:

“I'm really glad to be a part of this family! Every cast member brings something funny and unique to the table that makes our sketches super fun to work on. Though I hear that some of them leash their iPhones, which is super weird but I guess I love them anyway.”

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Now, along with the super-lucrative blog writer contract, I also had to sign a confidentiality agreement, promising the heads of the productions that I would not otherwise spoil, give away, or ruin anything important in the production. So, I’m just going to leave this as is so you HAVE to come to RNL to understand what this means.

WINNER: Caroline Clark

The musical guest segment is back this semester! In addition to the five sketches, two digital shorts, and opening monologue, RNL is going all-out with a musical guest as well. Another reason why RNL is better than SNL, this semester we’ve got Caroline Clark, who, if you went to the Cabaret Coffeehouse, the Hidden Grounds open mics, and/or possibly a basement, is super original and super unique.

“Our musical guest sings lyrics from her heart with a visceral tone reminiscent of Janis Joplin,” says cast member Nathan Olmeda.

LOSER: The number 16

This RNL subtitle is “16 Going on 17,” which must be freaking agonizing if you’re the number 16. Here you are, the 16th RNL, it’s supposed to be your time in the spotlight. RNL 15 got that clever “Quinceañera” subtitle, which solely had to do with the number 15. The number 16 is getting all eager to be in the spotlight, excited to find out how it’s going to be cleverly utilized…only to find out it has to share the marquee (shoutout to Andrew Frumento) with freaking 17! 17!

“Will you reporters just lay off? 17 has been having a rough time recently without your invasive questions. It's been associated with all sorts of awful events involving politics, natural disasters, entertainment, GPA dips. etc. 17 needs this. Let it have it,” asked Oren Merhav.

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But fuuuuuuuuuuuuu*k that. 16 got ripped off on the Zac Efron deal, when the producers decided to change “16 Again” to “17 Again.” Even Leo finally got an Oscar—why can’t 16 get some recognition?

“This sh*t is bogus,” 16 commented.

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WINNER: The audience

This refers to everybody who comes out to see the show this weekend and especially not to everybody who doesn’t come. That makes you not a winner. Now, I’m not calling you a loser. No, that would be rude and insensitive of me. You’re just not-a-winner. An anti-winner, perhaps. Why?

“The show takes the viewer on a journey through extremely specific scenarios you might or might not relate to, like the news!” says Francesca.

So, don’t be an anti-winner and come see RNL XVI, which runs this Friday (8:00 PM) and Saturday (8:00 PM and midnight).

Tickets are still available at:

Images courtesy of John Lerman.