REVIEW — There was a full house at Cholmondeley’s Coffee House last Wednesday night for WBRS’ Fresh Comedy Night. The host — Josh Day, a man with more hair than head — opened with a painfully unoriginal joke about not having a joke and followed it with a lowbrow pun. After several more minutes of awkward comedy and uncomfortable laughter, Day introduced Jiayong Li. Originally from Beijing, Li took up comedy five years ago to force himself to “go outside and talk to people.” Despite his apparent discomfort speaking in front of a crowd, Li’s deadpan style and impressive timing generated the first genuine laughs of the evening. His material centered on his experience acclimating to American culture as a Chinese immigrant, and the audience was surprisingly receptive. It is also possible, however, that the Brandeisian crowd was won over by Li’s harsh critique of white liberals. Regardless of the reason, Jiayong Li’s stand-up was thoroughly enjoyable and undeniably funny.
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Review — Rather Be Giraffes hosted “Turkapalooza,” a Thanksgiving-themed a cappella show, last Thursday night. This was the third in a series of “Acapalooza” events at Brandeis, beginning with Acapalooza this past spring and continuing with Spookapalooza in October. Mandel G03, where Turkapalooza was held, was not only decked out in festive Thanksgiving decoration, but also completely packed with excited attendees eager to support their friends and classmates. RBG performed last, preceded by Starving Artists, Voices of Soul, Up the Octave and Company B.
The editors of Blacklist Magazine hosted a coffee house at Cholmondeley's on Saturday to celebrate the publication of their first issue of the semester. Blacklist, formerly Where the Children Play, is the University's longest-running literary and arts magazine. Bad Grammer warmed up the growing crowd with a combination of slapstick humor, raunchy jokes and laughably bad puns. They were followed by Sarah Lavin ’21, who sang two original songs, “Who Am I” and “How Can I Write a Love Song,” accompanied by her ukelele. Next was a stand-up bit by Max Everson ’19, who shared his heartwarming, hilarious experience of seeing “The Longest Ride” in theaters with his best friend. In addition to making the audience members laugh, he left them with a message: try to share your friends’ interests rather than be critical. Everson later explained, “If my material isn’t funny, at least it has a moral.” Then Jordan Mudd ’20, playing his guitar, performed a mashup of “Autumn Leaves” and “My Funny Valentine,” as well as Amos Lee’s “Learned a Lot.”