Students and visitors to the Memorial Union Building (MUB) Entertainment Center received four times the laughs and experience as the MUB Comedy Club presented three Boston-based comedians and one student act on Friday, Nov. 30.
The 9 p.m. performance marked the club’s fourth comedy offering of the semester, having previously welcomed the likes of Jake Rush and Ben Smith on Sept. 29, LeClerc Andre on Oct. 6, and Gibran Saleem on Nov. 10, each accompanied by student openers. The event, on top of its feature presentations, offered free admission and hot cocoa for guests.
As the lights dimmed, comedian Alex Giampapa was the first to embrace the spotlight as the night’s host, tasked with providing his own bits and introducing the other three acts. For his part, Giampapa, aside from talking roommate stories, dealing with obsolete family traditions and trying to bridge the comic world with the real world in daily life, embraced his inner Bostonian – “how Boston am I? I’ve worked at three Dunkin’ Donuts, you’re welcome for my service” – yet shivered at the thought of the cold snow storms that come with the badge.
“Every part of it is excruciating; stepping out of the hot shower, just like, ‘Lord, take me now, let’s do this!’ My god,” Giampapa told the audience. “And then you go to pump your gas, no gloves, metal grip… ridiculous! Scraping the ice off the windshield: insane! And then you go to ask for your coffee and they’re like, ‘Hot or cold?’ and you’re like, ‘Iced, I feel nothing.’”
Following his bit, Giampapa welcomed student act Kyle Sharp to the stage, who brought to the stage his comedic perspective on student life in 2018, with a standout being this year’s past Thanksgiving get-together with his family. One moment, one of his cousins proposing a prohibitively expensive $75 Secret Santa scheme for Christmas. The next, Sharp recalls dealing with his grandfather and his frustrating attempts to educate him on the current culture, drugs – especially his notion that “only killers do pot” – and the present nature of politics.
“I got him to admit that Trump is a crook, so achievement unlocked,” Sharp, a member of UNH comedy troupe Improv Anonymous, recalled. “And he backpedaled and was like, ‘I didn’t vote for him,’ and we were like, ‘Yes you f***ing did! You are such a liar…’ Everyone is like really making this worse!”
After a brief introduction from Giampapa, UNH alum Carolyn Riley, a former women’s studies major and the night’s featured comedian, remembered her “weird” and “sad” experiences at a conservative religious school growing up – including having to attend a chapel service every Monday while also in high school taught by a Mumford and Sons-like pastor attempting to act cool and hip.
“He’d be like, ‘You know what’s dope, kids?’ And he’d be like, ‘Jesus’s love for us,’ and we’d be like, ‘We’re not listening,’” Riley said. “And then he’d lecture us to, like, not to do things we already weren’t doing; he’d be like, ‘Don’t have sex!’ And we’d be like, ‘You guys make us wear straight-leg pleated khakis with tucked-in polo shirts, so no one’s trying.’”
Riley also touched upon her dating life and time at UNH, her thoughts on running various student organizations since the third grade – and how she is “losing my mind” when she’s not – and her experiences with Adderall and her mother’s efforts to protect her, especially when she ends up alphabetizing the spice rack at 7:30 in the morning.
A friend of Giampapa’s, comedian Drew Dunn, served as the night’s fourth and final comedian, serving up a playlist of vocal impressions, his desire for a personal announcer broadcasting his every move and his love for Fritz Wetherbee of NH Chronicle, especially on the show’s promos. Dunn told the crowd that in the adverts, Wetherbee “knows how to suck you in!”
“My question is, how long are they going to let him go? Until he goes senile,” Dunn asked with a hint of concern, followed by an impression of the long-time co-host: “‘I don’t know where I am… who are you? I s*** myself! I’ll tell you the story.’”
In addition, Dunn recalled his feelings on accidentally running over animals – including one beaver that could have been the best or worst beaver ever – and his hesitation to become a parent because he does not want to be “the leader of a cult.” In breaking down families into cults, he said that one can place everyone under the same roof and “make up all the rules” and call meetings while under a vague name like “mother.”
“It’s kind of a cliche, but making people laugh makes me feel really good,” Giampapa told The New Hampshire after the show about what drives him as a comedian, “and so, the fact that I get to do the thing that I love the most as my job is the most important thing in the world to me.”