WKU improv group still bringing the laughs

Kristina Burton

Busy, stressed-out college kids sometimes just need to relax and have a good laugh. Happy Gas, a comedy improv group here at WKU, hopes to provide help with that.

Ryan Kemp, Adairville, is the group’s oldest member. At 29 years old, he is pursuing a second minor. He said via email that he wants all Happy Gas members “with every breath they take, to be sure to ‘smell the funny.’”

For Kemp, the “funny” can come in many different forms.

“As with most groups, each individual has their own specific inspirations when it comes to comedy,” Kemp said. “Mine tend to gravitate towards dry, darkish humor, while others are more physical/slapstick types.”

Sebastian Kearney, president of Happy Gas, said that every show is different depending on the audience.

“A show in Minton will be completely different from one in McCormack,” Simpsonville senior Kearney said.

The group, which has been in existence since 1999, has been a regular fixture at WKU. They just finished up a show called “All Paint and No Primer” and are in the process of planning another for later in February.

As for the broader future of Happy Gas, members have high hopes and aspirations.

“My personal hopes for the team are for the current, and future team members, to keep it alive,” Kemp said. “I also hope that they, to paraphrase one of my improv teachers, ‘heighten and explore’ the world of improv.”

McCall Logan, historian of Happy Gas, said her years with the group have helped her become more confident and prepared for life after college.

“It’s an incredible way to learn to trust people and think outside of the box,” Logan said. “That can be beneficial in any career, from working in an office to playing on a football field, to help you reach your goals.”

Logan, a London senior, also has high hopes for the future of Happy Gas.

“The older you get in the group, the more you’re worried about how everyone else will pick up the reigns when you leave,” Logan said. “But I’m confident they’ll take it farther than we have, and maybe even start touring one day.”

Happy Gas will be performing their new show, “Happy Gas: Even Bigger than Before,” on Feb. 22 at Gordon Wilson Lab Theatre at 8 p.m. Admission is $3.

Open rehearsals are also held every Wednesday on the third floor of Gordon Wilson Hall. For more information, follow Happy Gas Improv Troupe on Facebook.