From left, Giraffe House members media and information junior Dani Dillon, computer science junior Michael Pomorski, advertising and communication junior Alex Byers, film studies senior Seth Kalis, and media and information junior Jenna Canning film a sketch for their telecasters show on Oct. 5, 2014, on Spartan Avenue. The Giraffe House films their comedy sketches every Sunday and posts regularly on Youtube. Photographer: Raymond Williams/The State News
In MSU Telecasters, one group values comedy above all else.
Giraffe House is a sketch comedy show on MSU’s Telecasters that has been running twice a week during the school year since. It follows four students, or “giraffes,” in their endeavors as they all live in one house together.
While there is no definite plot line to the show, each character has set personality traits which determines their reactions to different ridiculous situations. Right now, the show has three actors and they are in the process of recruiting a fourth.
The show’s unusual name has nothing to do with giraffes, but the original house it was filmed at had a plywood giraffe on the tree, creator Diego Attanasio said in an email.
Media and information senior McKenna Keck and media and information senior Toni Lee Ruggiano have been producing Giraffe House together for two semesters, which has brought them close together as they have revolutionized the show.
MSU Telecasters executive producer and media and information junior Jessica Niskar said the new administration of Giraffe House is a refreshing change. As Toni and McKenna started producing together, they brought their crew back and are making shows the whole crew is proud of, she said.
“Giraffe House was put into a difficult situation about a year ago,” said Niskar. “This is the first time ever that Giraffe House has had two producers at once. Giraffe House began as a “boys’ club,” but since McKenna and Toni, more females have been participating and the content is pleasing towards both males and females, ” said Niskar over an email.
Last year, the duo tried to change up the direction of the show to more of a comedy troupe instead of having set characters and following a definitive way of filming, which caused the show to lose a lot of their fandom.
This year, they have returned with different advertising methods.
Last week, members of Giraffe House were spotted around campus carrying around a four-foot giraffe, their mascot Schneebly, sporting a stylish necktie in an effort to promote their season 11 premiere, which was a Brady Bunch spoof.
“Giraffe Week” happened in 2013 as well, but members of Giraffe House took Schneebly’s presence much more seriously this year.
Schneebly caught the attention of MSU students, as both the producers received multiple screenshots from other cast members from Yik Yak and Twitter of Schneebly around campus.
Ruggiano said that her and Keck’s friendship has strengthened the show, despite its setbacks last year.
“She is one of my best friends and that’s really cool that we get to produce together because I think we work really well together. It’s definitely been beneficial having a best friend as a co-producer,” Ruggiano said.
Keck said that being part of Giraffe House has changed her personal life.
“I loved MSU before (I joined), but I didn’t have a connection to it,” she said.
“I just didn’t feel like I belonged here. Then I joined Giraffe House and it made me love this university even more because I finally had a community and a family. Something to strive for and to work hard at.”
As a freshman at Michigan State, I interned for the university's student newspaper The State News where I wrote three stories each week, including subject interviews, writing, editing and submission. In addition to my weekly work, I landed two front-page feature articles. I was also responsible for attending and reporting on Michigan State University campus events.