Alex Mika, a University of Connecticut English major in the Honors Program, left his crowd laughing in their seats in Oak Friday night when he performed his one-man musical comedy show, “Piano Is Not My Forte.”
“Let’s all give a lukewarm welcome to the world’s most-okayest piano player in the world,” proclaimed friend Jake Webber, a second-semester classics major, as Mika walked to the front to start the show.
The event was the premiere of Mika’s stand-up, but from how comfortable he looked on stage, you would have thought he’d been doing this for a while. The front of the lecture hall held a piano keyboard and a guitar, which Mika made use of throughout the show as he interlaced comedy bits with original, humorous songs. The two styles were woven together excellently, and he segued between them with ease.
“And what do you do when you’re a sad musician?” he asked towards the end of a joke, going over to start singing. “You write a song about it instead of paying for someone to talk to.”
Mika shared his horror stories of trying (and failing) to learn guitar, going to drivers ed and trying to prep for the dreaded SAT.
The latter was followed by one of the fan favorites from the show, the song “SAT.” Mika encouraged the crowd to sing along if they knew the words, and a lot of people did. A group in the audience sang out the lyrics and danced along to the song.
He had a lovable-but-awkward vibe, which was perfect for the kind of humor he was doing. Mika paused the show at one point to take off his shoes. The crowd watched in silence for a moment before he smiled and went “I’m more down to Earth, now!”
He was quick on his feet and proved he was funny with small bits of improv when things didn’t quite go as planned, like when he tripped over his mic chord and made it into a dance or paused to grab a drink of water.
“Wow,” he stated, grabbing his water. “My throat is dryer than my jokes tonight.”
Another highlight was a parody of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” titled “I’ll Be Home For Summer,” in which Mika made jokes about showering without flipflops, breathing air that doesn’t smell of weed and eating food that doesn’t taste like rocks.
Mika held great stage presence throughout the entire show. His jokes were original and he held his own. A lot of the show revolved around being a college student, which hit home with his audience who loved his relatability. He covered topics like procrastination, laziness, fake IDs and his utter failure to ever work out. His bits were often followed by erupts of laughter from the crowd and lines like “it’s so true” forced through laughter and shaking heads.
Everything from his stage presence to his inclusion of songs gave me strong Bo Burnham vibes, a comedian who also mixes his stand-up with musical elements. That being said, Mika is anything but a copycat. His work was original and hilarious, which was a viewpoint also shared by the audience.
“I thought the show was amazing,” second-semester Molecular and Cell Biology major Roshni Mehta said. “It was very well rehearsed. I can tell the performer put a lot of time and effort into every joke, piece and musical addition.”
“It was neat-o,” added Webber.
Repeating his jokes in an article would be a crime that completely ruins many of them, but his work was hilarious and easily could have held audiences captivated for longer than the hour he had. Several of his jokes even came full circle, which held the show together well and made it even funnier.
There was an opportunity to write down comments about the show on slips up front, and groups of people swarmed the table afterward to leave compliments.
“This was a wonderful opportunity that the Honors Program allowed me,” Mika said.
Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.