FNL – Friday Night Live Lightens Up

What do you get when you mix a gang of high school comedians, a couple of clever writers and someone motivated enough to make it all happen? What you get is an hour of slightly racy, completely student-written humor.

Not only were the sketches clever, but it seemed that the actors were all thrilled to be up on stage and drawing laughs from the crowd gathered in Gilbert Hall on Sept. 19 for Palisades High School’s Friday Night Live.

Nancy Fracchiola with FNL head writers Justin Wolman and Alana Kern. Photo: Madeline Goore
Nancy Fracchiola with FNL head writers Justin Wolman and Alana Kern.
Photo: Madeline Goore

One of the highlights of the show was a series of skits called Wikipedia Brown, a play on ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ where, as you probably guessed, the boy detective just can’t get his facts straight.

Another highlight of the show wasn’t a skit at all, but rather a digital short called “Triagra.” Triagra is a dramatic commercial for a medicine to cure chronic “third-wheeling.”

Some other crowd pleasers include ‘Jewmor,’ where old Jewish talk show hosts discuss when Jews got so funny, and ‘Accidental Racist’ where one man can’t even manage one sentence without saying something politically incorrect.

“It was an amazing experience. We got closer as an ensemble and as friends,” Anika Shorr, a Pali High freshman, said after the show. “It was everyone’s best performance. We all worked together really well to throw together a show in one week.”

Friday Night Live is put on twice a semester by Pali High’s Comedy Club. They meet Thursdays after school, working together to be as funny as possible.

“Friday Night Live is the coolest thing because we get to make you laugh, and as people that is the best thing we can do,” said Alana Kern, one of the three head writers of the show.

At the helm of not only Comedy Club but the whole Pali drama department is Nancy Fracchiola. You could call her the Lorne Michaels of Pali High.

Years ago, Fracchiola was one of the many young actors trying to make a name for herself in New York City, and was one of the lucky ones who found success. Her credits include a multitude of parts in many Broadway plays and at one point, she had her own theater company. She’s also played a small part on an episode of Friends.

Because the first FNL was such a success with the audience, the cast and crew are now well on their way to producing an equally enjoyable holiday show.