We wish we had known about Nikki “2k” Muller ’05 back in January 2011, when we published an issue on humor. Virtually all of the funny people covered in that issue — most of the alumni and every one of the faculty members — were men. Later, a few professors weighed in, suggesting that a “humor gap” might be real: Perhaps women, unlike men, feared that if they were funny, they would not be taken seriously.
Forget that, Muller would say. (Read a Q&A on page 76.) She is, as you probably know by now, the comedian, writer, and actress who created “The Ivy League Hustle,” the very funny video that, as of early June, had been viewed more than 280,000 times. Muller became the most sought-after celebrity at Reunions, easily identified by her trademark backward baseball cap and the ukulele on her back.
Her video starts with Muller listening to her “date,” a puffed-up male Wharton student, drone on condescendingly about how his school trains the “leaders of tomorrow.” Finally, Muller can’t take it anymore. She launches into a profanity-laced rap — an ode to female empowerment and a lamentation on the hardships of trying to earn a living as an artist.
Between her numerous performances at Princeton, Muller spoke at a Reunions panel on feminism. She rejected criticism of the video’s language (“a lot of comedy is being allowed to say things that are offensive”) and dealt with its serious message.
“The whole point of this video is: Don’t apologize,” she said. “To be a comedian, you really have to believe in yourself. Doing the apologetic female thing will not work.” The audience was made up mainly of young alumnae. Probably few, if any, were comedians. Yet virtually every one was nodding her head in agreement.
Just as the classes move forward in the P-rade each year, so do they move up in our Class Notes pages, the news of first jobs and babies yielding to reports on grandchildren, retirement, and declining health. Notes for the Class of 1928, which over the last 84 years advanced to become the second entry found in Class Notes, end with this issue. The last surviving member of a class that once was 642 strong, J. Donald Everitt, died in March.
The class history outlined in the Nassau Herald includes several notable events: a bonfire after the drubbing of Harvard and Yale in football sophomore year; protests against a ruling that no student could have a car; the dedication of the new Chapel. Two pictures of the class show its transition over four years on campus: Flour-covered freshmen become young men decked out in suits and ties. Class secretary Robert F. Bole Jr. ’61 k’28 provides a final tribute on page 77.