Howling with laughter: the team behind Wolfson's comedy night

Image credit: Sebastian Stammler

Established team members Kirsten Barnes and Karlos Brown join new recruit Anthony Matthews to share the inner workings of the University's most popular comedy night: The Howler.

What does your role entail?

Advertising, promotion, managing the talent, design, booking. But Anthony's new so we make him clean the toilets.

Where does your interest in comedy come from?

We’ve always loved to have a laugh in one form or another and I think an interest in comedy follows naturally. Both Kirsten and Karlos have performed in bands around Cambridge (Karlos currently plays in local band Akuso). So we have surrounded ourselves with people who enjoy finding fun nights out in Cambridge. Anthony was regularly found trawling around the comedy clubs in the deepest darkest corners of Newcastle, then after a sunny month at the Edinburgh Fringe working at Pleasance he became fully addicted to laughing.

Outline the planning for a Howler...

Liaise with Wolfson College Student Association to secure a date, notify the relevant people at college, make sure one of our two MCs can make it and wait to hear from our agent who the headliner will be. During this time we book support acts and start the promotion of the event. On the night of the gig we look after the performers and squeeze in as many drinks as the breaks allow.

Why is the Howler important to you?

We think that the Howler is such a unique event for all Cambridge residents, students and non-students alike. Where else could you see comedians like Russell Howard, Tim Key, Josh Widdicombe, Milton Jones and Chris Addison performing alongside up-and- coming local acts who are cutting their teeth? We hope people will leave with the overwhelming feeling that they’ve just been to the best value comedy gig outside of London but they’ve laughed so hard that their cheeks ache from the comedy equivalent of permagrin (see ‘Urban Dictionary’).

The next Howler is on 3 March. 

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