Credit for the birth of Special K! goes to the first producer, William A. Jerome. Bill had been very involved with the Triangle Club at Princeton, and he was looking for an opportunity to vent his creative talents while at Kellogg. During his first year, Bill wrote a skit with another first-year student, Frank McGann, for Northwestern's Waa-Mu Show. The skit depicted the University begging the Admissions Director to "let the animals in so the football team can win." The skit was such a hit that members of the Kellogg community encouraged Bill to try his talents in a show for Kellogg.
Marketing Research was conducted (in the form of a questionnaire) to determine what students would be interested in singing, dancing, acting, directing, writing, composing music, etc. The result was 100 volunteers. Some students were not interested in on-stage appearances but wanted to help in some way. So now students are welcome to join the marketing, production or technical teams which help make every show a success.
The first show, "Up for Sale," was performed on May 9 and 10, 1980. The format was similar to "Saturday Night Live." It presented satirical material on pieces of Kellogg life. One skit featured operations management starring Drs. Booz, Allen & Hamilton.
The next year was key to the development of the tradition because the name "Special K Revue" was born. Also the pattern of improving the "polish" of each performance over last year was established. Subtitled "Funny Business," the 1981 show included skits like "Disco Accounting" which featured a chorus line of disco CPA's and "Star Wars" which debuted the talents of Professor Lawrence Lavengood as the all-knowing "Yoplait." Once again, close to 100 students participated in all phases of the show.
In 1982, PRINTOUT (now Kellogg World) formally declared the Special K Revue a tradition. An additional abbreviated show was added to meet growing demand. Popular skits included "The Wizard of Biz" and "What's My Major," a spoof on the popular game show.
The fourth year introduced us to the ever popular glossary of school jargon such as "Bullets" for job rejection letters. The show, subtitled "The Puns of Leverone," was divided into two acts appropriately titled "First-Year" and "Second-Year." Even with an additional fourth performance, the show continued to sell out and student participation was over 150!
By 1984, Special K Revue was so well entrenched in Kellogg's spring activities, that first-year student, Kevin Tindell, delayed all spring call-back interviews for a summer internship until the show was finished. The show, subtitled "Part V in 3-D," satirized everyone from Andy Rooney to former Placement Director, Alison McGrath, who was depicted as a transsexual from the movie "Rocky Horror Picture Show."
Each year Special K Revue has presented a different but always satirical view of life at Kellogg School of Management through the unique lens of that year's Production Board. The show has grown in all aspects, and the latest production "The Kids are oK" boasted a full 2-hour musical with a cast of 24 and complete band, high-tech stage lighting, and theatrical effects; including a wide variety of music, dance, and drama sketches. Hilarity ensues.
Finally, the show is presented in an encore production each Fall for the entering class of students. Company members who graduated the previous June are always back on campus (sometimes at great cost) for this special weekend reunion of the Special K! family after a summer apart.
Special K! truly is one of those things that makes Kellogg well... Special! Now in its 45th revue, Special K! is a lot like consulting cases - we just can't do enough of them!