By KYLE KITTEREDGE, Contributing Writer
On Saturday, April 4, groups of students lined the Union Court. They were waiting to see Improv Anonymous and Iliza Shlesinger perform in the Granite State Room. The Memorial Union Student Organization (MUSO) and the Memorial Union Building hosted the event.
Shlesinger is a comedian from Dallas, Texas who went to Emerson College in Boston. She was the winner of the NBC series “Last Comic Standing” in 2008 and her second stand-up special “Freezing Hot” premiered on Netflix this January.
MUSO’s event drew around 100 people, despite many leaving this weekend for Easter. Everyone ended up getting a good laugh from the show.
“We were like, ‘What are we going to do tonight?’” said Rachel Vass, an undeclared freshman. “We saw the posters in the MUB today and came.”
“I’m excited that we’ve had so many comedians come this year,” Vass said.
First up was Improv Anonymous. Their performance included the game, A Day in the Life, in which a volunteer is picked and the performers act out his or her day.
Also included was Genres, where audience members shout out genres for the Improv members to act out in a scene.
The audience responded enthusiastically, cheering Improv Anonymous on and offering suggestions when asked by the members.
Then Shlesinger came on stage to perform her stand-up comedy routine.
Shlesinger started off strong with a speedy account of her experience boarding a plane at the airport, and waiting for everyone else to get on.
“Okay now boarding all gold members, terrorists, handicapped people, pets, people more important than you, women and children, no not you ma’am, the blonde girl, you’re a threat,” Shlesinger said, mimicking a flight attendant.
Shlesinger’s performance flowed well, with one topic leading into the next. She focused on the funnier side of the collegiate generation’s little problems.
She asked students about their majors and what they wanted to do. She factored it into her performance with dark humor and criticism.
Shlesinger even made fun of The University of Maine a few times, getting a huge response from the audience.
Another aspect of her routine was a comedic view of college women. Laughter erupted when Shlesinger used different voices, one mimicking a drunken girl at a club.
“I have a theory that silky blouses are the burqas of America.,” Shlesinger said.
As her closing joke, she brought out her dog Blanch, mocking the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (SPCA) commercial with Sarah McLaughlin.
She stuck around after the show, signing autographs and taking pictures with people who congratulated her on her performance. Some audience members played with her dog after the show.
“I thought she was hilarious,” said junior zoology major Kayleigh Kane from Improv Anonymous. “The way she used different character voices- I thought that was great.
“She really tailored the stand-up to a college crowd and there was a lot of audience involvement,” Kane said. “I think she’s my favorite comedian I’ve seen at UNH, and I go to a lot of the comedians here.”
Shlesinger commented on the differences between a college crowd and a regular crowd.
“College students are smarter and at the same time they don’t have the same life experience tokens as adults do so it’s a different muscle,” Shlesinger said. “But they appreciate smarter jokes.”
Shlesinger agreed that her performance went well.
“It was a very receptive, bright group of students who participated and were not uptight,” Shlesinger said, “ They came for a good time and I think that’s what they got.”
Shlesinger thanked Improv Anonymous and MUSO as well.
Improv performs every Thursday at 9 p.m. in the MUB Entertainment Center. MUSO is hosting a music show next week on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Wildcat Den.
Also, The Campus Activities Board is bringing Mike Birbiglia as the next comedian on April 18. Student tickets will be $5 and will be available at the MUB ticket office.