5C Late Night Stand-Up Comedy

Compiled by: Elizabeth Lee and Kehau Jai ‘16Staff Writers

Q: How long have you been around?

A: I think it started unofficially around three years ago and became a real club in 2010.

Q: How many members do you have?

A: Around 10 active members.

Q: How can people become a part of your group, and what made you join?

A: Oh good, time for a plug! If you think you want to try stand-up, or just want to watch, come to our open mic which is held every Friday at 11 p.m. on the third floor patio of Pomona Hall (right at 6th and Amherst). I joined because I wanted to start doing stand-up and this was a good way to get stage time without driving into L.A. Also, starting stand-up is pretty scary, so it was nice to be able to try it in front of nice college kids.

Q: When/how often and where do you perform/publish?

A: As I said, we have that open mic every Friday. Otherwise we put on shows at Doms Lounge roughly once a month, and our next confirmed date is April 6.

Q: What makes your group so especially funny and unique? What comedy niche do you fill at CUC?

A: Well, we fill the stand-up comedy niche. Right now I think we’re really good because Ellie and I love comedy more than anything else and we want to pursue it as a career. To speak for myself, I’m absolutely a happier person now than I was two years ago because I started doing stand-up. I take it more seriously than anything else in my life, so beyond trying to write and perform as much and as well as I can, I also try really hard to put on good shows around campus—and, just as importantly, to maintain a welcoming vibe so that other people might try it too and find it just as fulfilling as I did. Also, Ellie and I know a lot of great comedians out in L.A. whom we’ve brought out to do shows.

Q: What is one word you could use to describe your group?

A: Table.

Q: What kind of humor do you find provokes the most successful response from college students? What does this say about us, or why do you think that is?

A: 90s references. You could just list Nickelodeon cartoons for fifteen minutes and walk away with a standing ovation. Hey, remember Doug?

Q: What is off limits?

A: To comedians, nothing is off limits (IMPORTANT CAVEAT: if it’s funny). If you’re at a show and another comic is talking about some touchy subject on stage but they’re not spinning it into anything worthwhile, or they’re just being gratuitously shocking, you either ignore it or you address it when you get on stage. But generally you won’t confront them about it afterwards or write an angry blog post or whatever. My belief is that most comedians aren’t bigoted or hateful people at heart (comedy’s a bad game to get into if you can’t tolerate different people’s viewpoints), so if they’re saying something uncouth onstage, I generally assume that they don’t really mean it. Clearly, this is different from the liberal arts mindset, in which what you say absolutely does matter. Here the defense of “but I didn’t really mean it” is understood to be fallacious and worthless. While I am partial to the former opinion, I am sympathetic to the latter. If I talk about something potentially hackle-raising onstage, and it doesn’t get a laugh, I don’t say that it’s because my audience was overly sensitive—it’s because I didn’t make it funny enough.

Q: What is the greatest struggle that comedians, in general, often face?

A: Well, once I finish college and go out to do this for real, it’ll be not making any money from it for like ten years (best case scenario). Right now, it’s people finding out I do comedy and going “Say something funny” thereby ruining any chance we previously had of having a good conversation.

Q: Is laughter truly the “best medicine”, or is there another, perhaps darker, side to humor?

A: Yes, in fact what we call “humor” and “comedy” and “laughter” is actually a nefarious pharmaceutical conspiracy. This is now the greatest piece of investigative journalism The Scripps Voice has ever published.

Q: What is the ultimate secret to making something funny?

A: Be good at doing comedy. Also the book “Git-R-Done” by Dan Whitney (AKA Larry the Cable Guy) taught me an immeasurable amount about how to write jokes and, more importantly, how to enjoy my life. If anybody wants to borrow it I have accumulated 6 or 7 copies over the years.

Q: What’s the best joke you’ve got in your back pocket?

A: This conversation is over.