Come and Gong: Senior Shpiel review

Zachary Brenner

Life Editor

At the annual Purim Town Meeting, Milken students come together to enjoy comedy in the form of a shpiel. For as long as anyone can remember, senior classes at Milken have partaken in making a shpiel. This year, we saw unique new approaches, and also familiar ones.

The video starts out with something unique, something we have never seen before: Mr. Meny Atias, head of security, eating chummus. Immediately, I was involved and interested in this new approach that the senior class decided to take. Then, once we discovered that one of the most well known and ‘praised’ objects at Milken, the freshman class gong, had gone missing, I was sure that the shpiel would touch on edgy and never before seen comedy.

Gabe Freeman '13 as Meny Atias eating chummus

What was particularly impressive was the seniors’ ability to incorporate relevant issues that Milken students face everyday with a side of the staff at Milken that we are rarely exposed to, but are constantly reminded of: the security guards. The issue of speeding in the parking lot is something that upperclassmen face everyday when driving to and from school. The idea to mix the parking lot security guards and stereotypical Israeli questioning techniques was incredibly hilarious and ingenious.

Another smart feature was Dr. Roger Fuller’s, character played by Jonah Schatz ‘13. This was smart casting and the dialogue they chose was very reflective of Fuller’s attitude at the school: happy and incredibly involved with student affairs. The line where Schatz as Fuller remarks he is an owl came off as completely accurate and hilarious. Those who get emails from him at all hours of the night will understand this comparison.

Jonah Schatz '13 as Dr. Fuller


However, the choice of including Mr. Jerry Martin, English teacher, barely warrants the time. Because of the lack of depth that was demonstrated during that gag, I wondered why they even incorporated him into the shpiel. As a student in Integrated, I love nothing more than a good laugh about the characteristics of Martin that are so familiar to us. However, if it is not done well and originally, why include that segment at all?

Another inaccuracy I saw was the portrayal of Mr. Tony Lawrence, history teacher. While many students found this funny, it was completely false. Lawrence might appear to be the kind of person who has bizarre and traumatic flashbacks of Vietnam, but if any of the students who wrote the shpiel ever had a class with him, they would realize the inaccuracy of their depiction.

The ending redeemed the integrity of the shpiel, with the imitation of the College Counseling office. To summarize it in three words: Southern Methodist University. The whole vibe that the College Counseling office suggests colleges to students that they would never dream of going to was a great incorporation into the shpiel. Also, the pressure that parents and students feel about it never being too early to start looking for colleges was perfectly shown when we saw mothers holding their babies at a meeting with Head College Counsellor, Mr. Joe Blassberg.

The appearance of the gong at Venice Beach seemed a great way to end the shpiel. Students should know that the Senior class did in fact have some sort of permission to use the gong. And I would say they used it well.

In case you want to watch the shpiel again: