The First Nerd Package
by Dave Drouillard
The Ivy League had never considered
ourselves to be a "comedy" quartet. We had always set out to entertain,
but tried to focus on our singing. We had been told in previous years that
we needed to find a way to incorporate the energy we had in our shows into
our competition packages.
Prior to the nerd package, we
had considered some pretty horrible ideas for contest packages, most notably
we wanted to come out dressed in barrels held over our shoulders with straps
and sing "Side by Side" & "Roll Out the Barrel". Brian pointed
out to us that after the first time we sing the word "Barrel", the joke
will been done and repeating it will be just... well - repetitive and not
The Nerd package, however, changed
the way other people viewed us as a quartet. I remember the very
moment that we decided to do this package. We were sitting in the
Big Boy restaurant in Belleville MI, when Scott mentioned that he went
see the movie "Revenge of the Nerds". Scott, thinking we weren't
going to go for it, said we should dress up like Nerds for the next contest
package. We all just looked at each other and said, almost as one, "Yeah!!!".
The rest of the meal was spent brainstorming songs and gags we could do,
and thus started us on journey from which we never returned. We spent the
rest of our existence trying to come up with a better package than the
The two songs we came up with
were "They Go Wild Over Me" and "My Cutie's Due at Two to Two". We
rehearsed this regularly in front of the mirrors in the Orchestra room
of the Alexander Music Building at EMU (Easter Michigan University).
The mirrors were integral to the success of the package, because we were
able to see our characterizations appear and get ideas from watching ourselves
and each other, as well as synchronize the choreo & timing of the gags.
We planted people in the audience
to chant "Nerds, Nerds, Nerds", before we came on. The crowd didn't
know what to think of us as we came from behind the curtain.
As each member hit the stage that the laughter built. The minute we got
to the edge of the stage, they went absolutely nuts After taking our bows,
we came back to the mic and ran into each other, then we each grabbed our
own pitch pipe and blew our starting notes. The gags went on from
there. After the first song, the audience was in hysterics.
Of all the comedy packages that we put together, this was the easiest.
All we had to do was act real goofy, not a problem for us.
The following Fall, we sang a
parody that Scott wrote. "How to Impress the Beautiful Girls Medley"
netted us a +24 , which, in the old arrangement category, was quite a high
score. The song starts with an intro that Scott wrote, then parodied
a some classic barbershop songs. "Shave Your Face" (Baby Face) "Buy
Lots of Clothes" (My Wild Irish Rose) "Brush and Floss" (Down Mobile).
It was Scott's first attempt at arranging for contest and a record in the
arrangement category (highest we'd heard of at that point was Don Gray's
"Wild Irish Rose" which received a +26 with three judges at international
- we only had 2 per category). The category specialist, (Al Baker)
who'd written the parameters for scoring Parody was in the pit for that
contest and said it was a near-perfect parody. The next time we sang
that song in contest, we scored a -12 , go figure. I guess we can
all be glad the arrangement category is now extinct.