College senior and funnyman Sam Pasternack, a former "Daily Show" intern, literally walks to the beat of his own drum.
Street: Tell us a little bit about your roles on campus.
Sam Pasternack: I am one of the co–editors–in–chief of The Punch Bowl, Penn’s humor magazine, and I’m the Vice President of the Penn Band. I like wearing two hats at once; it’s a lot warmer for my head.
Street: What’s been going on at Punch Bowl since you took over?
SP: We started Punch Bowl’s alumni program last summer. We found people from like 1928 who were still alive. And one who lived in Philly and was so excited that he died the week that we sent the email.
Street: What are the coolest things these people are doing now?
SP: The second–ever female editor–in–chief of the Punch Bowl wrote for “Jackie Chan Adventures.” And, um, the religious leader of the Colbert Nation, Stephen Colbert’s religious expert, is a Punch Bowler.
Street: So tell us more about Penn Band.
SP: I’m the head of their show–writing committee. So when you go to a football game, at halftime, the band stumbles onto the field and they form ridiculous formations. What I do is, there’s a booming voice coming down from the PA system…I am the one who tells them what to say. But any time it’s a nasally Jewish voice, you’ll know it’s me. And I’m the senior snare drummer on the drumline now.
Street: Is “Drumline” an accurate representation of your life as a Penn Band drummer?
SP: Nick Cannon’s character and I are very similar: we’re both sons of disapproving NY subway tollbooth workers and we both go to a small Atlanta technical college. Last year the Penn Band had a drumline battle against Cornell, but unfortunately it did not end with Zoe Saldana jumping into my arms and telling me we won the BET Big Southern Classic.
Street: What’s the biggest misconception about the Penn Band?
SP: Once you’re in the band, you never leave. It’s like the mafia. But more musical. We once ran out of tokens underground at a SEPTA station, so we played “Free Ride” until the overwhelmed (and entertained) SEPTA worker let us through.
Street: What can you tell us about “The Daily Show” without breaching any terms of confidentiality?
SP: “The Daily Show” is a political satire program on Comedy Central that airs at 11 p.m. EST. It’s hosted by Jon Stewart. And I worked there. Street: So not much.SP: I had an amazing summer. The product that you see every night reflects not only the level of effort that all of these people pour into it every day, but a kind, considerate sensibility.
Street: Punch Bowl and Penn Band. Both PB. How do you keep them straight?
SP: I usually go with PBowl and Band.
Street: So emphasis on the B.
SP: Yeah, well I can’t do Punch B. It sounds like a Chris Brown to–do list item.
Street: Who would win in a fight between Penn Band and Punch Bowl?
SP: When you can throw tubas, you have a slight advantage. Throwing puns is a dangerous game. Somebody’s gonna get hurt — but it might be the people throwing puns.
Street: You’ve got a tiny Harry Potter scar. How’d you get it?
SP: I don’t wanna talk about it.
Street: Did it happen at “The Daily Show”?