Comedy competition comes to Brown

By
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What do an Indian boy from Texas who goes by “G. Chocolate” and the Pope have in common?

Both earned a spot on the eight-person team representing Brown for RooftopComedy.com’s first annual National College Comedy Competition. Voting for the team was held last night in Salomon 001 after 10 contestants – including Chocolate, or Gaurab Chakrabarti ’10, and the Brown Stand-Up Comedy club’s “Pope” Adam Suzan ’08 – gave the audience a taste of their stand-up talent.

Created in 2005 by a group of “die-hard comedy devotees who were sick of working for the man,” RooftopComedy.com is based in San Francisco and serves as an online comedy channel featuring stand-up comedy video clips, according to their Web site. Their 2008 National College Competition starts off with on-campus contests held at 32 campuses across the country. Video clips of 16 regional winners will be featured online, and the four most popular comedians from the site will be chosen to compete at the national competition held in Aspen, Colo., on Memorial Day weekend for a $1,500 cash prize, according to the site.

“The competition serves as a platform for students to showcase their comedic talent,” said Jennifer Stokes, a RooftopComedy.com spokeswoman.

Stokes was contacted by Suzan in early January to make sure Brown was one of the schools competing. Stokes said that she loves visiting the range of college campuses because “each school in the competition is unique.”

The third comedian of the night, David Grabiner ’05 GS, told the audience he once read “parents hoping for a comatose daughter” on the bottom of the television screen while watching the news.

“Well, that’s setting the bar pretty low, right?” he asked. “Who wants a daughter anyway?”

Another comedian, Tom Flaherty ’08, joked about his housing experience in Sigma Chi, on the third floor of Olney House, last year.

“There was this disabled bathroom on the floor, but the building didn’t have disabled access. I always thought to myself, ‘If a disabled person can get there, you don’t need that bathroom,'” Flaherty said. “You can shit anywhere.”

Grabiner will join Flaherty, Chakrabarti, Suzan, Billy Doyle ’09, James Belarde ’10, Herald comic artist Dustin Foley ’09 and Herald copy editor Alex Rosenberg ’11, to make up the Brown comedy team.

The Brown team will compete against the team from Emerson College on April 8 in Boston. RooftopComedy.com will provide free transportation for all Brown students who sign-up through the Web site, Stokes said.

The host for last night’s event was RooftopComedy.com comedian Lamar Williams. He started off the night with a stand-up routine and continued to interject jokes between the acts of Brown comedians.

“Old people are liars. They always exaggerate their stories,” he said. Lamar cited an episode with his grandmother where she “lied” about kicking someone for a nickel in her youth. He said he didn’t believe his grandmother was strong enough to kick someone for a nickel when she couldn’t even open a jar of mayonnaise.

“Yeah, I carry a can of mayo just in case an old person ever wants to lie to me,” he joked.

Ben Hagur, another RooftopComedy.com comedian, was also featured in the contest. One of his jokes referred to his godson’s favorite juice, Capri Sun.

“The back of the box says Capri Sun is delicious, exciting and fun, but have you ever tried to get the straw in one of those? It’s not fun. I can never find the hole,” Hagur said. “I kept having flashbacks to my senior prom.”

David Dean ’11 was pressured into attending by his friend and comedian Flaherty, he said. Dean said he left the contest “loving it,” though the competition was the first comedy show he’d seen at Brown.