The smell of the buffet lingered in the air as Huskies Tavern slowly filled in anticipation of SUBOG’s first ever comedy show. The lineup of the show consisted of a two student comedians and Yedoye Travis, a stand-up comic who has recently appeared on Comedy Central and Netflix’s “Russian Doll.”
Jack Chadwick, a fourth-semester computer science and cognitive science major was the first of the two student comics. His material ranged from dreaming about cheating on a partner to how serial killers get their nicknames. He transitioned smoothly between subjects and his final punchline referenced a previous joke that garnered a lot of laughs from the audience while neatly tying up his part of the set.
“I started doing [comedy] the summer before my freshman year, just going to a local bar…When it goes well, it’s really fun. I like the adrenaline and I like writing,” Chadwick said.
Nick Roche, a sixth-semester civil engineering and German major, was the following act. Many of his jokes were self-deprecating and resonated well with the audience. He began by describing himself as “the kid that fell into the chocolate river in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ or as a “reject from ‘The Sound of Music’ cast.” Roche’s material focused more on the mundane aspects of everyday life, such as shopping at CVS or how unusual interview questions can be. He even had a bit dedicated to critiquing how horribly designed the UConn student admin is and what could have possibly been going through the mind of the one who designed it.
“I like hearing the laugh from the crowd. It’s thrilling in a way… it’s a way for me to express myself,” Roche said.
Travis was greeted with a warm welcome from the audience as he entered the spotlight. He began with a joke about how UConn is located in the middle of nowhere, yet still manages to suffer from horrible traffic. Travis’ material was witty and obscene, combining both new and old material for the show. He inserted a lot of personal anecdotes into his comedy, one of which was how he’s constantly mistaken for Donald Glover. A lot of his comedy focused on systemic racism and the dangerous effect of stereotypes. Some of his material was a bit more personal and unusual, like stories about acid trips or his dad’s advice on “the dangers of cunnilingus.”
Travis touched upon modern topics such as phallic jokes about the president, commenting on gun control or the rapid advancement in technology which helped keep his act grounded and relatable to his audience. Overall, it was obvious that Travis was really in his element and that he loves doing stand-up.
“It’s kind of cool to be able to make money doing the thing you like to do. I mean, I told my middle school principal I was going to be a comedian. It’d be kind of a bummer if it turns out I lied to her,” Travis said.
Whether he’s referred to as “the hipster Frederick Douglass” or “the non-threatening black friend,” Travis kept the audience laughing throughout the night and looking forward to future shows.
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.