Generally, no one expects Weekly Roundup to be anything ordinary, and Friday night’s show was certainly no exception. “Anything’s possible with Benjy,” said Tory Cuddy ’04. “You should not expect anything.” After all, couldn’t we all use a good meat smashing to calm our nerves in the last week before the Thanksgiving break?
Apparently, host Benjy Caplan ’03 was in a marinating mood himself, which he demonstrated with several pounds of ground beef and a large foam baseball bat. His kitchen? The Campus Center Frontroom … the floor, that is. “The baseball bat broke when I was doing it,” he said. “Had it not broken, at the end of the show I would’ve put [the meat] back into a little pile and done it again.”
But Caplan was not preparing a barbeque for his patrons, unless any of them were willing to loosely extend the “five-minute rule.” “On the one hand, it was a stupid thing to be hitting meat with a baseball bat,” Caplan said. “If anything, I would call it a highbrow social commentary and a much-needed treatment of meat on this campus.”
Strange as it was, Caplan’s audience members were entertained. Many were even expecting something out of the ordinary. “It was a little weird but he always does stuff that’s a little bizarre,” said Evan Pena ’04.
Perhaps the only seriously disgruntled attendant was Miss Massachusetts, who had to tiptoe her way around the bloody mess on stage for her interview. Caplan, however, had no regrets. “My favorite part was at the end and I said, in context, something I’ve always wanted to say-‘I’d love to go with you but I have to sweep up the meat.'”
“Hello, I’m Dean Lieber, and today, I’m going to make history,” said Dean of Students Ben Lieber, decked out in sport coat and sneakers, to a packed crowd in Johnson Chapel on Friday night. In a send-up of Comedy Central’s “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” Ben Lieber offered up to $500 of his own money, announcing that, “If you’re smart enough, fast enough and if you have the guts, then you can win Ben Lieber’s money.”
In a night laced with innuendo-sometimes subtle, sometimes not-students, chosen randomly from the audience, squared off against each other, and later, against Dean Lieber in a battle of knowledge. Featured questions ranged in scope from the Wu-Tang Clan and the Denver Broncos, to Rene Descartes and the Pythagorean Theorem.
“It was really fun to watch, they did a good job of mimicking the actual show,” said James Karras ’04. “Lieber made a really good Stein.”
Two games of three rounds each were played, with questions worth anywhere from $5 to $25. True to the actual Comedy Central show, the questions were presented with such crude category titles as “The quarterback is Griese and the running back is wide open.” Lieber feigned ignorance by announcing in a cool and dry voice, “Someone’s gonna have to explain that one to me.”
Audience participation was encouraged by a series of gift certificate giveaways in the second rounds of each of the two games. Audience members who knew trivia, such as the blood alcohol limit in Massachusetts (.08 percent) or Columbus’ birthplace (Genoa) were given $5 at Schwemm’s, $10 to use at Newbury Comics and gift certificates for other local merchants.
Dean Lieber spent approximately an hour and a half trading insults with the contestants, while successfully defending the vast majority of his cash. At the night’s end, the challengers walked away with less than one-third of Lieber’s offerred money.