Inside Scatterbomb: The Improv Group that “Still Goes to the Pediatrician”

by Jessica McKenize, Assistant Features Editor 

Manhattan College students and faculty have had the pleasure of enjoying the quick-witted, masterfully ridiculous improv comedy shows of Scatterbomb since 2004. 16 years later, Scatterbomb has introduced many new personalities to the stage, attracting full audiences to every performance in Hayden 100.

Current sophomore Sydney Waitt joined Scatterbomb last year as a freshman. A political science and peace and justice major, Waitt was introduced to improv comedy in her freshman year of high school when she took an improv class as a performing arts requirement.

“I’m a huge fan of ‘Saturday Night Live’ so that also factored into my love for improv,” Waitt said. “When I got to Manhattan College I saw [Scatterbomb’s] audition posters … I actually ended up getting in and really ended up loving it.”

Auditions for Scatterbomb usually entail getting to know the members of Scatterbomb and understanding everyone’s sense of humor. If students receive a callback, they will play more improv games as well as establish more scene work.

“Once you’re [at the audition], everyone’s super nice. It’s a really friendly atmosphere and doesn’t really feel like a tryout at all. It’s a really relaxed feeling,” said Waitt.

During auditions, Scatterbomb is searching for someone that will enhance the group dynamic and are able to think on their feet.

“[Scatterbomb looks for] people that mesh well with the group … and I think that’s why we’re so successful—we’re also friends,” Waitt said.

Now that she’s been a member of Scatterbomb for a year, Waitt has found the stage to be a second home.

“I honestly think the most difficult part of doing shows would be not laughing while you’re on stage because everyone on Scatterbomb is so funny. It’s so difficult to not react like the audience,” she said.

Scatterbomb regularly performs many forms of improv such as montage and Spokane. During a montage, the group asks the audience to shout out a random word. The group will pick one word which inspires a scene. A Spokane scene includes characters reminiscing and acting out the memory.

“I always like doing the ‘bit’ [form of improv]. It has a lot of short form stuff that people are more familiar with. It’s more similar to ‘Whose Line Is It Anyways?’ … It’s a change of pace for us and the audience,” said Aedan Roney, a junior communication major and member of the troup.

Roney has been a member of Scatterbomb since his freshman year at Manhattan when auditions were advertised at the club fair. In high school, he took a drama class that taught improv so he decided to audition.

“[Scatterbomb] got me into being a student leader because I had to learn how to deal with student engagement and posters and booking spaces. It pushed me to get involved in other places as a leader,” said Roney.

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Scatterbomb’s ten members performing on Feb. 21

Since Roney first joined Scatterbomb, the group hired a coach in 2019 who teaches different forms of improv. Roney hopes to continue performing after graduating.

“There’s actually a group of [former members of Scatterbomb] who are a few years older than us, they graduated [from Manhattan] in 2014 or 2015. They have an improv group together so we’ve kind of … thought about modeling ourselves after that,” Roney said.

On Friday, Feb. 21, Scatterbomb demonstrated their comedy skills to a packed audience in Hayden 100. The show “Scatterbomb Still Goes to the Pediatrician” was a great way for MC students to sit back and laugh on a Friday night before midterms.

“I’ve never been too much into improv until I started going to school here. There’s just something so fun and manic about like the experience [of going to a Scatterbomb show] … I always have fun here; I laugh all the time,” said audience member senior Tristian Shawley.

The next Scatterbomb show is scheduled for March 6 at 8 p.m. in Hayden 100.