When MBAs Get Downright Silly

At some of the best business schools in the world, there’s an annual ritual that spoofs B-school culture and MBAs in general. It’s the Follies Show.

In the tradition of Saturday Night Live, these sketch comedies allow students to shuck their MBA personas–at least for a few nights–to become the B-school equivalents of Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon. For years, some of the best and most irreverent skits were put on by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, schools with large enrollments and resources.

This year’s batch of early Follies’ Shows at the best schools indicate that there is no shortage of comedic creativity on B-school campuses. They also prove that MBA students can be far from politically correct. Among the best: A Columbia Business School MBA asserts he will do anything for a job (with the exception of giving up alcohol); In a spoof of Wharton’s Advanced Negotiations course, students try negotiating sexual encounters; and New York University’s Stern School MBAs do a hilarious send-up of movie, The Social Network.

One of our favorite skits so far involves a Columbia MBA who has an obsessive crush on a fellow classmate who won’t date him because he’s not Jewish. Never mind the A he got in finance.

And then there is what Kellogg is now calling the first LipDub video by a business school. Filmed to Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose,” the video features a cast of 70 Kellogg students. The cast learned their parts, rehearsed, and were filmed as a single, continuous shot in less than 3.5 hours on a Sunday morning.

Anything For a Job (With the Exception of Giving up Alcohol)

NYU’s Stern School’s Send-up of The Social Network

Kellogg’s LipDub Video Featuring Performances By 70 Kellogg MBA Students

Wharton’s Evolution of an MBA

The Columbia MBA With An Obsessive Crush on a Jewish Classmate

A Spoof on Wharton’s Advanced Negotiations Course: MBAs Negotiate a Sexual Encounter


About the Author...

John A. Byrne

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.