ASUCI Comedy Night Explores Bird Flu, Babe
In my days of blissful ignorance, I had thought that the movie ‘Babe’ was just a sweet and innocent tale about self-discovery. Unfortunately, my naive delusions couldn’t have been more wrong. After attending last Monday’s performance of Last Comic Standing at the Bren Events Center, comedian Alonzo Bodden revealed that the actual culprit behind the bird flu epidemic is no other than the vile pork industry. To my utter shock, I realized that night that Babe was more than mere lunchmeat, he was a corrupted capitalist. Suddenly it all made sense why Babe could talk, herded sheep for a living and was best friends with a duck.
Though I learned many other things that night, it seemed that I wasn’t the only one getting an education. When Bodden asked his audience what is so special about our school, one member expressed their Anteater pride by yelling out, ‘Zot!’ Baffled, Bodden responded with, ‘Wasn’t he that guy that attacked ‘Superman’?’ From then on, voices from the crowd rose to instruct Bodden on what being a true UC Irvine student really was.
Lesson one: we are the Mecca of biology majors. One of the most impressive aspects of the show was all three performers’ ability to engage and maintain their audience’s enthusiasm. Though only a small crowd of 100 or more students were in attendance, comedians Todd Glass, Tess Drake and Bodden were still remarkably able to fill up the empty stadium with roars of laughter and cheer.
Glass boldly opened the show by bumming a cigarette off one student and rebelliously puffing away as he carried on the rest of his act in a nonsmoking auditorium.
Drake proved to be one impenetrable force as she defiantly stood her ground when audience members playfully booed her criticism of skinny Asian women in the gym. Bodden was especially connecting by asking individuals their name and future plans. Five out of seven people replied that they were biology majors and most followed their answers with aspirations to become the next generation of doctors.
Surprised by its massive popularity, Bodden couldn’t express his feelings any other way than to ask all the biology majors in the room, ‘What the fuck?’
Lesson two: UCI students are lonely. Really lonely. Like every typical college campus, the topic of sex and dating stirred excitement from the audience.
Drake seemed particularly fond of this subject as she revealed her extensive and racially scandalous history of past relationships. Complaints jumped from dating hyper-masculine Mexican men to being a big black woman living with a midget. The best features of her act were her hilarious facial expressions and single-syllable commentaries like ‘uh huh!’ that followed every sarcastic remark.
Bodden also obliged the audience with his two cents by picking on the front row of predominantly male members. After comparing the differences in age between himself and the audience, one individual from the back boldly asked Bodden how old he was.
Snickers crept from the front row as the 43-year-old comedian joked that he was probably older than everyone’s fathers and, faithfully adhering to his craft, Bodden then turned the joke around by glaring at the group and retorting, ‘Don’t laugh too loud fellas, at least I’ve been with girls.’ Hooting and uproarious laughter echoed throughout the auditorium.
Later, to compensate for his taunting, the performer convinced a female audience member to leave her seat and sit with one embarrassed young man in front.
Lesson three: ‘Zot!’ is the sound that the Anteaters make. After six straight weeks of tedious classes, Monday night finally gave the students of UCI the opportunity to do some teaching of their own.
One of the most memorable highlights of the show was when a couple of audience members taught Bodden the Rip ’em Eaters sign. At first, the comedian struggled to imitate the appropriate hand gesture, but soon a collection of hands rose up to assist while others instructed by waving their arms and yelling ‘Zot! Zot!’ At the end of the night, Bodden bade us adieu and thanked us for our enthusiasm, noting that ‘Zot’ was his favorite word from the show.
Prior to the performance, I was treated to a personal interview with performer Todd Glass as he prepared for his opening backstage. Glass, who holds 20 years of experience in the comedy industry, recently finished a pilot produced by Adam Sandler and has opened for stars like Tenacious D and Jay Leno. Between randomly going off on tangents and mimicking funny voices, Glass spoke seriously about what makes a college crowd so special. He said, ‘College crowds are great. I love doing college shows. I’ve had years where I’ve done 40 to 50 colleges in a year. They are great.’ When asked why, he explained, ‘College students have an open mind. They are not jaded, they like something new, they are accepting to something new.’
Regardless of the fact that ASUCI’s promotion for Last Comic Standing was minimal and right in the middle of midterms, the outcome of the show was still successful. Students released all their pent-up stress from hours of laborious reading by happily going along with each performer’s act. Though the turnout was small, the atmosphere was energetic, the performers were full of life and the material was funnier than any 60-page reading on organic chemistry.