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Ohio State senior members honored at Fishbowl Improv send-off before swimming into real world

Courtesy of Aubrey Bowditch from Student Life/Ohio Union

The end of Spring Quarter might be a tear-jerker for some saying farewell to their graduating friends at Ohio State, but for one group on campus, it was a time for laughs.

Fishbowl Improv, an OSU improvisation group, hosted its Senior Send-Off Show Saturday in the Ohio Union’s US Bank Conference Theater. The show began around 7:30 p.m. and ended with a tribute from Katie Drown, a second-year in international studies and Fishbowl member.

Fishbowl assigns a theme to each of its shows. Saturday’s performance was mainly a tribute to the seniors, but also a showcase of all the themes that did not make it to the stage in the past, such as girls versus boys, unimpressive breakdancing, the “Cosbys” and awkward silence.

“I liked all the shows that didn’t make it. They were really good, and it was fun to see those,” said Rachel Carlsen, a second-year in human nutrition.

Fishbowl, founded in late 2009, began its performances Winter Quarter 2010. Seniors Tyler Davis, Carly Kohake and Travis Kendall are the remaining three of six founders of the group that still attend OSU.  

Davis, Fishbowl president, said rejection from other improvisation groups and the desire to practice the comedy form were some of the main reasons for starting Fishbowl. The group now consists of 16 members.

Chelsea Vretenar, a fourth-year in mathematics, said her favorite part about the show was “seeing all the seniors on stage together and seeing them just have so much fun because they know it’s going to be their last show together.”

Following intermission, the group aired a senior video filmed prior to Saturday’s performance, in which the groups’ five seniors gave their farewells.

“I’m really confident you guys will keep the Fishbowl legacy,” Davis said in the film.

The 11 underclassmen planned the evening in honor of the seniors.

“We owe everything to you guys,” one of the underclassmen told the seniors at the end of the show.

Admission to Saturday’s performance was free of charge, something that Davis said has always been an important factor to the group.

Fishbowl has performed all over campus, though mostly in dorms. However, as the group has grown, the venues had to grow with them.

“We don’t really have a budget and we don’t have an attention span,” he said at the start of the send-off.

Fishbowl has more than 800 likes on Facebook as of Sunday night, and its popularity was also shown through the enjoyment some fans got out of the event.

“I love anything that will make me laugh and they pretty consistently make me laugh,” said Melissa Zoerner, a third-year in English.

The group incorporates long-form and digital shorts, which are short, sketch comedy films, in its performance.

The “digital shorts” are published on YouTube but are expected to air as a 30-minute showcase on Buckeye TV, titled “Fishbowl TV,” next year.

Fishbowl Improv’s YouTube page has almost 31,000 video views as of Sunday night.

The Senior Send-Off kicked off with a “digital short” depicting the group’s search for its “missing” senior members. Following the opening film was a long-form skit including the five seniors.

The show ended with a short clip of the seniors’ bloopers from the past three years.

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