Comedian leaves Stein crowd in stitches
Whether students came to the Stein on Friday night for the comedy or the free mozzarella sticks is hard to say; however, no one left disappointed.
The room was packed with people from the time the show started at 8 p.m. to the time it finished around 10 p.m., ending in time to allow returning partiers to freely enjoy their sobering calories in peace.
Even before the performers took their places, students were crowded around the stage area. All seats and tables were taken as students began to shuffle into standing positions against the bar around the room. Excited chatter continued softly throughout the night, especially in the tables furthest from the performance, in the back of the room.
The show kicked off with a number of short improv performances by the Brandeis group Bad Grammer. Despite the broken microphones at the beginning of the show, the group had both the students there to see the main comedian and their friends who came to support them in stitches.
Bad Grammer kept a quick pace, using a bell to signal the end of a segment, performing improv activities well known and loved by many — such as “pick up line” — and segments with their own unique twist — such as a “joint Ted Talk” spoof. One skit that landed lots of laughter was similar to the “helping hand” segment in “Whose Line Is It Anyways,” where one group member stood behind another and acted as their arms, blindly trying to act out the scenes that were described to them.
Audience engagement was high as group members asked for words from the audience and wrote down phrases on slips of paper. The group’s humor rung true to the Brandeis spirit as they joked about Bob Ross killing someone’s father, Diva Cups, getting lost on the Gerstenzang roof and the relatable joke “I once dated a tool; he was always hammered, but damn, could he screw.”
The main act of the night was comedian Samuel J Comroe, who came on stage around nine. The 28-year-old comedian currently lives in New York with his wife, after moving from Los Angeles around a year ago.
He described his experience with his television debut on “The Conan Show” by astutely describing Conan as a “tall tropical tree.” Comroe could not have felt more comfortable, or been a more natural act, to have on a college campus. Comroe had a relaxed observational and anecdotal humor that was both quick and incredibly nonchalant.
He was accurate in his spontaneous assessment of the Stein and the Brandeis student body, as he joked about the students’ endless love of mozzarella sticks, the imaginary wall separating the front from the back of the room, the single, randomly placed jersey taped to the pole in the Stein and the microphone — technological difficulties that, as he joked, may as well have been “brought to you by Radio Shack.”
Comroe’s humor was made more genuine as he shared his experiences living with Tourette’s syndrome. Comroe breached the topic with humor and stories that were honest and insightful, with hints of self-deprecation, that all college students find relatable.
He shared anecdotes of his childhood Tourette’s camp, in which one child’s tic would set off another’s until “it just looked like we were break dancing.” However, the section of Comroe’s act which was by far the most crowd-pleasing was the questions section, during which he allowed audience members to ask any questions regarding his life, career or anything at all.
Random questions such as “what are your thoughts on snakes?” invoked comedic stories, such as trying to use a garter snake to intimidate a childhood bully, that felt too natural to be completely rehearsed.
Comroe concluded the show by revealing the worst audience question he ever received: “How do you go to the bathroom with Tourette’s?” The night ended with clapping, laughter and very satisfied students.