Tit Punch: a hit to the funny bone

By Tessa Brubaker, Campus Reporter

Monica Westlake
Tit Punch meets every week to pitch sketeches and build ideas off of each other.

If you saw someone walking around the city dressed as a giant whoopee cushion, it was not a Halloween costume but part of a sketch from the all-female comedy group Tit Punch.

The nine-member group, created by senior theatre major Nina Butterly in spring 2016, consists of eight current and one former Columbia students. The members post comedy videos online on their YouTube channel—Tit Punch—and website. After leaving her old improv troupe, Butterly said she wanted to work with film while still practicing comedy. She also wanted a platform to incorporate comedic women because they do not have a strong presence in the online comedy scene.

Butterly recruited other female students in improv classes to create something new and innovative to share with the Columbia community. The other members of the group include performers Morgan Gold, Isabella Jannsohn, Katrina Wolter, Allie Semrow, Jafei Pollitt and Cate Herrold and executive writers Lindsay Cymbalski and Angela Kelly.

Gold, a sophomore theatre major, said she loves that the whole cast comes from different majors, which generates diverse ideas when crafting sketches. Many performers in the group have different senses of humor, so the sketches have variety, Gold said.

“What’s cool about this group is we can produce all different sorts of content, so we’re not just focusing on one different strength or one different type of performance,” Gold said. “We all have different ideas, we’re all good at different aspects of comedy and media.”

All but one of the eight current Columbia students are in the Theatre Department but come from different majors and concentrations. The eighth, Semrow, is in the Cinema and Television Arts Department. Former student Angela Kelly studied in the Theatre Department but transferred to Oregon State University for Pre-Medicine.

Semrow said she hopes the group can attract more followers over the next year, so it has more opportunities to reach a wider audience.

“In a year, I was hoping to see ourselves continuing to do Tit Punch, but hopefully we get enough people to watch and enjoy our content, that it’s more popular [and] that we can do more with it,” Semrow said.

Butterly said the time Tit Punch has spent together has blossomed into close friendships, and allowed them to feed off of each others creativity and energy to produce work everyone is proud of.

As Tit Punch moves forward and gains followers, Butterly said she is hopeful the cast will transition to live improv shows.

“We want a fan base [and] we want popularity, but at the core we just want to make stuff that makes people laugh,” Butterly said. “My goal is having someone with a bad day come home, watch a Tit Punch video and they feel better.”

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