The Columbia Follies also tackles serious issues this year. “Sponsorship” is a case in point. Following the arrangement of “Something Like This,” the song pushes back against an era of populist petulance. In particular, the lyrics reflect the angst shared by international applicants and employers alike.
She said, where you wanna work,
You know how much I’ll risk.
I’m not lookin’ for somebody
With no citizenship.
As any enterprising MBA student knows, there is always a way around the system. In this case, the singer applies his lessons at Columbia…to starting a marriage scam – perhaps a subtle warning that idled talent will always find a way to make a buck (legal or otherwise).
FOLLIES TARGET CAREER SERVICES
Career services has traditionally served two functions in student circles: a punchline and a punching bag. The CBS Follies is delighted to dive into these tropes this year. Just look at “We’re Going on a Job Hunt,” which turns a first year orientation into Romper Room – baby talk and all. This skit is hardly nap time. Instead, it deftly pokes at the canned advice that has run its course. Don’t forget: “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no, we’ve got to go through it.”
That’s the G-rated version of the CMC. For the R-rated version, the CBS Follies rolls out “The Next Episode,” a homage to Snoop Dog that’s replete with F-bombs aplomb and tokes between jokes. Yes, this is hard core Columbia, as the CMC and faculty go head-to-head to show who’s boss. In the end, it’s neither as a third party enters the fray to show who really runs the halls of Uris. Guess who that is?
The administration doesn’t escape ridicule either. In the spirit of the holidays, the follies resurrect Home Alone, where Michael Malone, the associate dean, trades places with Macaulay Culkin. It’s an all-too-familiar plot. Donning a MAGA hat, Dean Hubbard and his entourage trek off to Ohio “to see how the other side thinks.” Just one problem: They forget Malone, leaving him to fend off corrupt cops at Uris Hall with pizza boxes and financial accounting texts. Ah, it is a heartwarming tale, filled with insider jokes, that dares to answer the big question at Columbia: why are the library booths always locked?
ARE MBAs MORE SCAVENGER THAN PARASITE?
That’s not to say the follies settle for lively lyrics and crude caricatures. Sometimes, you can rouse laughs just by sticking important people in awkward situations. That’s the secret behind “CBS Carpool Karaoke.” Want to hear Tricia Baione go full-on 80s glam rock? Can Professor Todd Jick handle “The Man in the Mirror?” And just wait until you hear Zelon Crawford shift from singing to rapping. They may be off-key, but give them credit. The Columbia community isn’t afraid to put themselves out there.
Looking for the most original skit? Check out “Scavengers,” a faux-nature program that follows Bartlett Pear’s journey from fawning first year to industry alpha. At Columbia, Pear joins the “Scavengers,” a tribe of “hungry bros” who live off leftovers across Uris. Indeed, CBS’ free coffee is hardly enough to survive the “untamed wilderness” and “hard winters” of Morningside Heights. It is experiential learning at its finest! Pear rises to tribal leadership by using his guile complete a “grand heist” – slipping into an executive MBA event for a free buffet. He even uses his scavenging skills to attract an equally-hungry mate. Although he now sits at the top of the food chain as a CEO, Pear still texts with his tribe, always on the lookout for the next free meal!
What were your favorite videos from this fall’s lineup? Let us know in comments.