Spring 2017

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The Blackout

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Inspired by alumni Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, student producers launched a late-night variety show that features performances, stektch comedy and interviews.

Ryder ChasinWhen Ryder Chasin was asked to become the new host of The Blackout, Northwestern’s first late-night variety show, he was excited and humbled.

The junior journalism major hosted the fall quarter live show at Harris Hall in December. In addition to the usual pretaped comedy sketches, the show featured a guest interview with School of Communication junior Robert Cunningham, who plays a supporting role in the upcoming Nicolas Cage horror film Mom and Dad, and a musical performance by senior computer engineering major Randall Harris, who performs as rapper Prez Harris (see "Welcome to the DOJO," winter 2015). The show ended with a performance by Fusion Dance Company, Northwestern’s premier hip-hop dance group.

Chasin took over the hosting duties from Blackout founder and club president Chelsea Jacobson, a junior radio/TV/film major who studied in Paris for fall quarter. Jacobson came up with the idea for the show after visiting with Jill Leiderman ’93, executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live! (see "Late Night Light," fall 2013), on the set in Los Angeles in summer 2015. Jacobson envisioned a show that catered to Northwestern with content accessible to all. The show debuted in December 2015.  

Chasin, who is a member of the Titanic Players, a long-form improvisation group, will host upcoming productions. He knows he’s following in the footsteps of late-night titans Stephen Colbert ’86, ’11 H (see "The Real Stephen Colbert," winter 2010) and Seth Meyers ’96, ’16 H (see "Good Humor Man") . “And that’s a very cool motivation,” he says.