To burn off energy and escape, at least briefly, from the pressure-cooker environment of their studies, Caltech students would sporadically stage little evening theater productions. These were undergraduate ops; grad students were typically too fried to do anything more than attend and applaud. The performances were amateurish, as were the scripts. But the level of intelligent humor was high.

An archetypal example: during one scene with some fast-and-heavy banter an actor posed the riddle, "If a light sleeper sleeps with a light on, what does a heavy sleeper sleep with?"

He then whacked himself on the forehead, as though he had flubbed his line ... but in subsequent scenes appeared with a prepared sign hanging albatross-like around his neck. The sign labeled him "HEAVY SLEEPER". The crowd roared....

(If you don't get it, don't ask! It's a meta-joke on a bit of naughty sophomoric word-play.)

TopicHumor - TopicPersonalHistory - 2001-11-19

(correlates: HighGlider, JoyToStuffRatio, RealGenius, ...)