WKU improv group nears 15th anniversary

Frankfort freshman Isaac Barnes, Glasgow junior Matthew Zuccari, Louisville junior Sanya Monem, and Bowling Green senior Jacob Soler (left to right) perform a skit during Happy Gas rehearsal Tuesday night in preparation for their upcoming show, “It’s This or Dining Alone,” in Pearce-Ford Tower on Thursday, Feb. 13. (Luke Franke/HERALD)

Whitney Allen

Somerset senior Keifer Adkins leaned back and laughed as he recalled how he became a member of Happy Gas Improv Comedy Troupe three years ago. 

“It was really weird,” he said. “So the president, Nick, and Dave, an old member who does a lot of stand up now, came to me in a voice movement class and said ‘Hey, you’re really quirky and different. Do you want to audition for us for Happy Gas?’”

Happy Gas is Kentucky’s longest running comedy improv troupe. The group usually performs locally —  mostly on campus. The group has volunteered at Relay for Life, and tonight they will begin their “Dorm Tour” with a performance at the Pearce-Ford Tower. 

On March 22, Happy Gas will celebrate its 15-year anniversary performance in the Russell Miller Theater. The show will feature both current Happy Gas members and “veterans” — a collection of the troupe’s alumni.

Adkins said both the group and it’s dynamic have changed over the years. 

“There was one point in time when the team only had four members. I mean it’s a community,” he said. The group is now comprised of 18 members.

Adkins said he almost passed up this opportunity, but he’s glad he decided to try it out. Happy Gas has not only supplemented his experience as a theater student, but also provided him with experiences that he will take with him into future jobs.

Franklin, Tenn., senior Nick Benson, the troupe’s president, has been a member of Happy Gas for four years.

Benson hopes that in the future Happy Gas will continue to gain popularity and expand their performances to different venues. He hopes that Happy Gas will grow with WKU. 

“I had another goal I wanted to leave them with,” he said. “I was trying to put together a big improv or comedy jam — maybe get it sponsored through Western and groups from Chicago, Louisville (and) Nashville can come down and it could be this huge event.”

Benson said Happy Gas has lasted so long by being more progressive over the years.

“I think it’s just the love for improv to be honest,” Benson said.