“Cereal,” came the call from out in the audience. And—boom—that was all it took for the comedians onstage to launch into a hilarious, long-form improv show, bouncing from the grocery store aisles where a slacker employee calls out of work sick to hang out with his friends in the parking lot of said grocery, to the big bowl of Cap’n Crunch gathering all his breakfast staple friends for a party.
This sonata-style comedy performance was dubbed “Harold” by its founder Del Close, reportedly because “Well, the Beatles called their haircut Arthur, so I’ll call this Harold,” a reference to A Hard Day’s Night. The concept made its way from the Merry Pranksters’ acid soaked San Francisco to Chicago’s famed Second City theater and, eventually, New York City’s Upright Citizen’s Brigade, which is where I found myself on Harold Night—laughing hysterically at sheer ridiculousness.
This is one of my favorite kinds of humor, the one that involves as little brainpower as possible.
In a Harold, the comedians fearlessly step forward on the stage without any idea of what might come next. Every moment is up to ever-changing chance. And it’s sort of where I see myself now taking over as editor of SCN.
There’s a heavy load of newness that comes with this honor—for me, for SCN and for you the reader. It’s a tremendous opportunity to test out some new ideas, new directions, new technologies and new digital initiatives. I’ll be hitting the road more this year and looking to talk to more of you about the industry.
For those of you that might shy away from change, rest assured that the SCN you know and love will remain committed to bringing you the latest AV news and analysis from the industry’s best and brightest. Over the past 15 years, Kirsten Nelson skillfully built SCN into what it is today, and I intend to stay true to her vision. Now as editor-at-large, Kirsten will remain intimately involved with our work here as she embarks on a new journey. I hope that you join me in honoring her contributions while opening up to the great unknown of what comes next.
I have also enlisted the highly driven and talented Kelleigh Welch as my managing editor to step out onto this new stage with me. With three years at our sister publication Pro Sound News under her belt, she has been dipping here toes into AV and is eager to delve further.
Much like the Harold team, what we do here at SCN is critically dependent on a group synergy, both in the office and out in the field with you. Let’s all make this leap forward together. And don’t forget to laugh.