St. Patrick's Day Drunken Throwdown
The St. Patrick's Day Drunken Throwdown of March 17, 2008, was one of the most terrifying nights in comedy history. Aimed at being a playful show where each performer on stage was drunk, it devolved into an unstoppable train wreck of incoherent mayhem during which one prominent UCB teacher and performer wielded an actual folding hunting knife on stage, which he claimed was "okay because it's not my knife." The wholly disrespected moderators of said trainwreck, Chris Gethard and Zach Woods, have never moved as quickly as when confiscating that knife.
Will Storie was nearly crushed to death in one of the doorways.
Will Storie was was so drunk that he threw a chunk of Irish soda bread and nearly broke a stage light.
Shannon O'Neill: If you are more than 15 minutes late to class, you can go fuck your face!
Joe Wengert: I would like to let everyone know that we have some great classes opening up in 101, 201... and MOTHERFUCKING 301!
After pouring beer on his head, Will Storie asking: "Why is it so rainy?"
There is no way of knowing who was supposed to perform in the first set and who in the second, as there was frequent and ill-advised cross-pollination in this respect. Credit for such unprofessionalism should go to one Shannon O'Neill, who set a dangerous precedent by repeatedly barging into scenes when—in theory—she should have been nowhere near the stage. Needless to say, many improvisers followed suit.
The second team initially failed to appear on stage as they were busy warming up by playing a rarely tried Hot Spot variant where the only song sung is Pearl Jam's Jeremy.
In a foreshadowing of things to come, Woods and Gethard were lustily booed upon announcing that they were the only stone-cold sober people in the theater. Their lucidity no doubt meant they were doubly horrified at what eventually transpired, but both offered brilliant color commentary nonetheless. Alluding to Will Storie spilling beer all over his shirt, for example, a nonplussed Woods was heard to remark: "It appears Will Storie has pissed his chest." In further reference to Will Storie's epic insobriety—on flagrant display in scenework and on the backline—Gethard proclaimed that he had been Storie's teacher in three different classes, and had never been more proud of him than he was at that very moment.
The Breathalyzer & Audience Culpability
No doubt the shameful and traumatic behavior of many beloved UCB performers is what will color what shards of memory people retain from that fateful night. But it should be noted that this clusterfuck of a show was precipitated in no small part by as boorish and merciless a crowd as has ever assembled under Gristedes. Of particular abhorrence was the audience's abuse of a pre-existing breathalyzer rule, which allowed them to challenge any performer's drunkenness as illegitimate and have their blood alcohol content immediately verified by the hosts. This challenge was issued dozens of times via outraged and disorganized group chants. Several times, the crappy-looking and probably defective breathalyzer returned a BAC of less than .08, the legal limit for driving, which caused much invective to be hurled, usually followed by mandatory chugging on the part of the insufficiently-hammered improviser so that they would not be officially ejected from the stage—not that they would have had much trouble running back on whenever they liked. In fact, it's odd that no audience members tried to insert themselves in a scene, given the chaos at hand: the only plausible explanation is that they were terrified by a violent Shannon O'Neill and/or the prospect of being stabbed. At any rate, they contented themselves with a constant roar of heckling and various attempts to induce alcohol poisoning by proxy.
Aside from being swamped by audience members, the bar was often set upon by people supposed to be performing at the time, who made off with an estimated 650 free beers, most of which were deliberately emptied onto other performers.
All outward indications and the highlights of this wiki page suggest Will Storie had never imbibed alcohol before the night of March 17, 2008.
Oh God Mom, please don't find this on Google.
About The Knife
It was Neil Casey's. How Wengert acquired it, as well as his reasons for suddenly brandishing it, remain shrouded in a Guinness-soaked haze. When asked about how Joe got his knife, Neil Casey responded with: "I will always have Joe Wengert's back, always!"