First BSU Tonight female host aims to incorporate more women within organization

<p>Megan Barry, public relations major, poses for a photograph Sept. 19, 2018, outside of the David Letterman Building. Barry will be the first female to host the BSU Tonight show in the group's history. Maggie Getzin,DN</p>

Megan Barry, public relations major, poses for a photograph Sept. 19, 2018, outside of the David Letterman Building. Barry will be the first female to host the BSU Tonight show in the group's history. Maggie Getzin,DN

BSU Tonight was known as "BSU Late Night" until 2010.

They film their episodes live-to-tape with a studio audience on Mondays.

The episodes air at 11 p.m. Fridays on Cardinal Vision. 

Throughout its history, BSU Tonight has had few women within its organization. But this year, Ball State’s late night comedy talk show will make history with junior Megan Barry as their first female host. 

“A lot of times my freshman year, I was the only woman in the room,” Barry said. “We need[ed] to fix this. We need[ed] to have more women on our writers staff. We need[ed] to have more women on our talent pool, and that was a genuine effort this year.”

Barry joined BSU Tonight during her freshman year as a part of the show’s talent pool, acting in sketches. After she was elected as PR director on their executive board her sophomore year, Barry said she became “dead set” on becoming the host for the upcoming season.

“I've never been that confident about something in my life,” Barry said. “There's no reason why we shouldn't have a female host.” 

After an audition and interview process at the end of the Spring 2018 semester, the executive board unanimously decided Barry would be the next host of BSU Tonight. 

As the first female host, Barry said she feels the pressure “that’s put on every female comedian.” 

“If you're not funny enough, it’s like women don't deserve to be funny,” Barry said. “I don't want this to go down in flames and then have another woman audition and her not get her shot because this didn't go well.” 

Junior Ben Barry, BSU Tonight’s head writer, met Megan during a dry run rehearsal in 2016. Ben said he was “elated” when he found out Megan would be the host for season 18 of BSU Tonight.

“Having a female host after 17 seasons of men at the desk is really cool,” Ben said. “I just felt happy to be a part of something that's taking advantage of the talent we have available [and] giving women more of a voice in comedy, which I just think is something that is really lacking these days.” 

Since joining the BSU Tonight’s executive board, Megan, Ben and the rest of the team agreed they needed to make a change in order to get more women involved in the production of the show. 

“It's still part of a greater effort of our [executive] board over the past couple years realizing there's a gender problem in the TCOM industry,” Megan said. “In late night comedy, sketch comedy it's all men… You’ve got to think about women in all capacities. Women are also in sketch comedy.” 

By having more women involved in BSU Tonight in the talent pool, writers staff and crew, Megan said she believes the comedy show will appeal to a wider audience as its comedy will cater to not only men but women as well. 

“If you have something written by a man, it's written from his perspective. If you have something acted by a man, it’s from his perspective,” Megan said. 

As an organization, Megan said BSU Tonight revolves around “the student experience” as students “can use industry standard equipment and really learn what it’s like to film on a live-to-tape TV set.” By getting involved, both men and women can have more hands-on opportunities in their field. 

“[BSU Tonight] is a great way to kind of get your hands dirty [and] get involved with something that maybe you've never done before,” Ben said. “If [there is] somebody who's never picked up a camera in their lives but really wants to become a videographer, BSU Tonight is the place to do it because there aren’t a lot of other organizations that allow you to kind of just take a camera and go nuts with it.” 

For this season, Megan said her goals include bringing a friendly face to BSU Tonight with her hosting style as well as having more interaction with the studio audience. 

After graduating, Megan plans to go into entertainment PR, where her practical experience in the TV and entertainment industry with BSU Tonight will benefit her. 

Since being involved in BSU Tonight, Megan said she has become close with many members of BSU Tonight, especially those on the executive board who she said are “some of [her] best friends,” as they all “joined at similar times” and “really wanted to better the organization.” 

“She's one of my best friends in the show,” Ben said. “It's excellent getting to share something that I love with somebody who has grown really close to me over the years, and I think the show has been really what's brought us together… The show will always be something that we look back on with fondness as the catalyst to our friendship.” 

Contact Nicole Thomas with comments nrthomas3@bsu.edu

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