Gridiron 2015 full of entertainment

Editor-in-Chief

Until Saturday, I had never been to a Wichita Gridiron performance.

I had heard plenty about it, having applied for their scholarships in the past. This year, I was awarded the Les Anderson Memorial Scholarship and was invited to attend. Boy, am I glad I did.

From the moment Bill Roy, Mike Iuen and others took to the stage singing a tribute to the late Randy Brown, I was hooked on the show. Brown was a career journalist and longtime emcee of Gridiron. He died last summer after a lengthy illness.

Both acts of the show had plenty of jabs at various events that took place in the news. From a coffee barista demanding to talk to a customer about racial tensions, to Louie the Clown making three separate appearances in skits, this show was full of laughs.

The person who was probably made fun of the most was Gov. Sam Brownback. Adam Knapp, a WSU alumnus and former Wichita Eagle reporter and editor, played Brownback in several skits.

The most notable — and definitely funniest — moment with Brownback involved a skit between him and a young journalist, played by Ben Anderson, son of Les. In it, Ben’s character attempts to interview Brownback, who suddenly becomes seductive. In short, Brownback is depicted as a gay character with Christian Grey (from “Fifty Shades of Grey”) mannerisms. The skit even came with a song describing the gay Brownback’s fetishes. The level of laughter from the audience was easily at its highest point during this skit.

Later, I talked with Knapp, who told me the original skit was a little less censored and included having the young journalist stripped of his clothes by Brownback. I think everyone is a little relieved the show didn’t go that far.

While the show was somewhat of a tribute to Brown — it was the first show since he died — Bonnie Bing, one of the show’s long-time performers, said they were just as offensive as ever. I probably would not agree with that. Sure, there were moments that seemed offensive, but they were all done with comedic effect that worked every time. Gridiron 2015 was full of laughs and full of things I don’t think I will ever unsee (gay Brownback, for instance).

There is no way I won’t come back for future Gridiron performances.