The Afternoon News is essentially a Waring version of Saturday Night Live written by, produced by, and starring Waring School seniors. It is utterly ridiculous and entirely necessary, and it has been far too long since this fabulous tradition graced our polygon. In fact, the last time this co-educational day school witnessed The Afternoon News was back in 2015 when I was but a wildly befuddled freshman.
Naturally, because our grade is…our grade, we decided to reclaim this (stupid) yet wondrously entertaining ritual. Seniors Hunton Russell, Grace Symes, and I, Ilana Frost, have been hard at work, toiling in our bedrooms, utilizing our creative and comedic juices to create the script since last September. (Yes, we are that enthusiastic about this project.) One might even go so far as to consider us an Afternoon News dream team. The team of power writers has collaborated considerably well given initially conflicting visions, but we have encountered one roadblock repeatedly.
Turns out, it is rather tricky to write comedy when your viewers are the people you are obligated to make fun of. It is also rather tricky to write comedy when you aren’t targeting a specific group of politically like-minded people (or so I have found.) We have asked the same questions over and over again: Where do we draw the line? What is and isn’t okay to say?
The reality is, if we avoided every opportunity to mock certain faculty members or students, we wouldn’t have a quality end result. We also cannot one hundred percent avoid politics since it’s been an unusually hot topic since 2016, and doing so would also tame our end result. There are subtle political references, and some not-so-subtle political references, because the truth is, satire doesn’t fit into neat boxes. Good humor is sharp and isn’t afraid of the controversial (as I have so often had to emphasize to Grace and Hunton who do not share this perspective.)
All this to say…get excited! The filming of 2018’s Afternoon News has yet to begin, but the script is complete and plans are in place to commence production. Get ready to see Aunt March from Little Women singing Kendrick Lamar, common application “advice”, and Francis fighting with firemen to let his physics class back into the building. There is one promise I can make about this year’s Afternoon News…because of our extraordinary comedic writing skills and Hunton’s technical finesse, and because we aren’t afraid to venture into some gray areas, the Class of 2018’s hilarious and clever episode will be one to remember.