Is this the Mock? Gershberg and Juffer

By Shasta Webb

This week The Mac Weekly sat down with Jon Gershberg ’13 and Alex Juffer ’13, the masterminds behind Macalester’s premier humor magazine, the Hegemonocle. Contributors to the magazine since their first year at Mac, Gershberg and Juffer are bound for comedic greatness. They include humor in many aspects of their life, from academics (Gershberg’s Anthropology capstone is about humor and Juffer uses hu­mor in his Creative Writing pieces) to their free time (both perform stand up comedy in Minneapolis on occasion). Ger­shberg plans on pursuing stand up comedy in the future, and Juffer assures us he “will always like jokes.” Alex Juffer: This is Mock Weekly, right? Jon Gershberg: We’re coming out in the Mock Weekly! AJ: There’s no way you’re putting us in a real newspaper, is there? The Mac Weekly: First of all, what is the Hegemonocle? JG: I mean, what is not the Hegemonocle? AJ: Look around. Look at this campus. What haven’t we done? JG: Really it’s a philanthropy organiza­tion. AJ: Ice rink, that was us. Albino squir­rels, that was us. Freshmen, that was us. We brought in the freshmen class. JG: A recruiting tool for students. AJ: We’re also admissions. JG: What else? AJ: Oh, we’re a humor magazine also. What are your roles on this illustrious publication? AJ: We are co-editors. I feel like whenever I open an issue of the Hegemonocle, I don’t ever see the term “co-editor.” JG: Well, you know, we have been Pinky and the Brain, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Good Cop and Bad Cop. AJ: We like to take a more holistic ap­proach. JG: Why limit ourselves? Since we’re such a large organization that has its hands in so many…pants… AJ: Freshmen pants. JG: Why would… AJ: I mean that strictly when freshmen dance too hard they get holes in their pants and rip the seams. Then we put our hands in freshmen pants to sew them back together so they can go to Kagin again. Don’t take that comment the wrong way. JG: We sew pants post-Kagin. That’s another aspect of our organization. AJ: Do you want us to actually explain what we do? Sure. JG: We’re actually co-editors. I was the founding member, as in, I was the third guy that wasn’t the first two people who founded it. Who founded it? JG: Mikey Freeman and Dan Rocklin, class of 2011. AJ: Rest in peace. I’m sorry, did they die? AJ: Everyone not on campus is dead to me. JG: They started it in Fall 2009, the first semester of our freshman year. It was a zygote in the fall, and then born in Spring 2010. AJ: I got involved Spring 2010. Goddamn, it’s been a long time. Sophomore year we were promoted [to co-editors], and now here we are. JG: I got into it freshman year because they had a signup sheet at the org fair and a bowl full of Brussels sprouts, and I was like, ‘These guys are fucking hilarious.’ But it was a pack of lies. [To Alex] I don’t even know how you got involved. AJ: I forget. Freshman year I was just a bum, and I was actu­ally looking through the list of Macalester organizations and I was like, ‘What looks better than MPIRG?’ Who or what are your inspirations for your material? JG: Cam’ron, the rapper. AJ: Jeff Foxworthy. All my material is lifted from Jeff Fox­worthy. Who is that? JG: Honey… AJ: Let’s start getting to the condescending terms immedi­ately. JG: He’s a comedian best known for his redneck jokes to a redneck audience. AJ: You couldn’t even really appreciate it ironically, sorry hipsters. JG: East Asian philosophy definitely—specifically from the ninth and tenth centuries BC—inspires me. AJ: I would have to say Louis C.K. I was also a big David Chappelle fan growing up. JG: And The Onion. How is the Hegemonocle structured? AJ: We have a head of production, Justine Decker ’14. We have a head writer, Joseph Evers ’14. Our next most impor­tant position is our secretary, Sarah Haight ’14. We’ve had a rotating cast of treasurers. JG: They haven’t really treasured much. Coat Rack [gestur­ing toward a coat rack located in the corner of a Campus Cen­ter conference room] is our most important. He’s been here since the beginning. AJ: He precedes the Hegemonocle. JG: He has so much wisdom to impart on us. AJ: He’s an eighth year senior, not so much up here [points to head] but the kid’s got it in here [touches chest]. JG: We have weekly meetings. And production on Sundays. Do you have any memorable articles? Any that have re­ally moved the campus? AJ: It was either my first or second piece. I was still pretty nervous. It was blurred because tears were on the page. I wrote this article about hand jobs. JG: Classic Juffer. Classic Juffer piece. Get it? It’s like sex. AJ: I think it has been my most well-received piece to date. JG: Wow. Dream big. AJ: It launched the sexual revolution in the Hegemonocle. JG: And in the world. Also, any felonies or misdemeanors that have been encouraged by this article are not technically our responsibility. I think one of my favorite pieces that I wrote was about the tri-annual convention of sexually frus­trated Macalester women that voted to add a fourth “g” to the three “g”’s. It was “gnome.” Oh yeah. I’ve heard that. JG: See? People remember that article. AJ: The fourth “g” is the silent “g.” JG: [to readers, yelling into recorder] FOR THOSE OF YOU READING, THAT’S A SILENT “G.” How does Hegemonocle connect to other aspects of your life? JG: It counts as public service as per the state court system of Minnesota. So that’s probably the most important. AJ: I make eye contact and give a curt nod to other members when I see them in public to boost their confidence. JG: Alex and I go pretty frequently to do stand up comedy in Minneapolis. And the research for my capstone is about humor. AJ: I’m a creative writing major and I use humor a lot in my pieces, so some­times they overlap. I think being an English major was the best decision of my life. JG: Let’s talk in two years. That’s cold. JG: Just like the pizza he’ll be eating every morning. AJ: That’s not so bad. JG: I mean at least it’s pizza. Congrats dude, live that life. AJ: I will. Were you interested in comedy before Mac? JG: I definitely was when I was young. At Jewish sleep-away camp—I could start a lot of stories like that—my camp counselor was Woody Allen. AJ: And your bunkmate was Carlos Mencia. JG: There was this competition where we had to write come­dic skits, and I was six years undefeated. I used to write really offensive jokes when I was in middle school cause I really wanted to be a stand-up comedian, and I thought that being a stand-up comedian meant that you say really mean things. AJ: I used to make stupid Youtube videos with my friends, and by Youtube videos I mean videos we were too afraid to put on Youtube. But this is my first real foray into the humor world. So far so good. JG: We’re pretty immersed in the humor world, I’d say. What are your comedy plans post-Mac? Or are you going to stay around like Coat Rack? JG: Well I don’t think anyone has the staying power of Coat Rack. He’s a legend. AJ: Some older members of the Hegemonocle wanted to start an alumni humor magazine. JG: I’m definitely jonesing to get more into stand-up comedy. I just had my final Watson interview today where I actually performed stand-up comedy to the person who was interview­ing me. If I get that, I’ll be going to four different countries and hanging out with comedians. AJ: Me personally, I’ll always love jokes, so I look forward to that. refresh –>