Arts & Culture

Student comedians stage fake centennial anniversary

Members of Brown Stand-Up Comics poked fun at aspects of student life in their fall opener Friday

By
Staff Writer
Monday, September 23, 2013

Andrew Silverman '14 performed an acoustic love song about a romance with a female butcher while strumming the guitar.

“I invited my friend to the show yesterday. She said, ‘Oh my god, there’ve been Brown Stand-Ups for 100 years?’” said Yotam Tubul ’14 in the opening act of the spoof “centennial anniversary” of Brown Stand-Up Comics. “No! There haven’t even been jokes for 100 years. You know how miserable life was in 1913?” Tubul asked the audience, letting them in on the show’s joke title.

Brown Stand-Up Comics opened its fall season with a crowd of about 250 students Friday night in Salomon 001. Around the same number of would-be audience members were turned away after the auditorium reached capacity, said Louisa Kellogg ’14.5, president of the group.

The performance showcased seven student comedians with vignettes on topics ranging from hook-up culture to butchering animals. The stories were individually provocative — but also blended to create a seamless account of undergraduate life.

Kellogg, who hosted the event, opened the show with a mockumentary slideshow of the “history” of Brown Stand-Up Comics. The individual acts followed, with Tubul musing on the desire to beget children and Richard Mosesso ’14 recounting how heated arguments and tensions lead to solid make-up sex.

Lisa Franklin ’14.5 hit back against TotalFratMove.com’s misogynistic “50 Ways to Be the Perfect College Girlfriend,” as item 29 on the list read “before you do anything, ask yourself, ‘would a psychopath do this?’”

“If the answer is yes, don’t do it?” Franklin asked rhetorically. “It’s not evident. My puny female brain can’t deal with this decision-making.”

Most of the stand-up routines were met with raucous applause and hooting from the audience.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said Adam Waters ’15. “It was my first time seeing BSUC in its own show rather than in a variety show, but I was really impressed by the number of people there, how good of a show they put on and how they had really good energy.”

In his act, Adam Abeshouse ’14 mused on shopping period and the search for the elusive fourth course, comparing Banner to a dating site. “This one looks great, but Grandma would have something to say if I took Africana Studies,” Abeshouse said.

Sam Heft-Luthy ’16, a former Herald senior staff writer, commented on the absurdity of the theory of evolution, and Andrew Silverman ’14 rounded out the evening with a musical rendition of falling in love with a female butcher.

Brown Stand-Up Comics offers a starting point for aspiring comedians, and many alums have entered the field after performing on its stage, Kellogg said. A number of recent graduates are currently trying their luck in New York, she added.

Kellogg, who worked as an editorial intern at the Onion this summer, said telling jokes at Brown is far easier than performing stand-up in New York and Chicago nightclubs.

“We have so much in common with the people (we’re) talking to — you don’t have that anywhere else,” she said. Kellogg expressed hope that more women would participate in comedy groups and described the secret behind her success.

“Comedy is about phrasing things in a way that point out something really funny or really weird,” she said. “A lot of what we do every day is weird, but we don’t think about them usually.”

A previous version of this article said Adam Abeshouse ’14 asked in his stand-up routine, “Oh, what would Grandma say if I took Africana Studies?” In fact, Abeshouse said, “This one looks great, but Grandma would have something to say if I took Africana Studies.” Additionally, the article reported Abeshouse on joking about “shopping period and the search for the elusive fourth course.” Abeshouse’s joke about shopping period was in the context of a comparison between looking for courses and choosing a spouse. The Herald regrets the errors. 

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