Between comedy shows in Jorgensen, the Student Union theater and now Huskies Tavern, there’s a lot to laugh about at the University of Connecticut, but rarely do larger numbers of comedians get together to do a gig. UCTV had this goal in mind with their Comedy Jam on Thursday night: To get a lot of funny people in the same room, which happened to be the North Lobby of the Student Union.
Hosted by UCTV’s entertainment director and eighth-semester theater studies major Lucian Hatfield, the show featured five individual stand-up acts and two improv groups.
“I wanted to create some kind of outlet for UConn comedians,” Hatfield said, specifically describing how it may be hard for individual comedians to get bigger gigs on their own.
Filming the entire show, UCTV hopes they’ll be able to use the footage from the show to create Netflix-style comedy specials and video reels. These videos will be posted to the media station’s YouTube channel, and will also be made available for the comedians to use for their own purposes.
“They do plenty of sets,” Hatfield said. “But this will be something they can look at and review themselves.”
Many of the featured comedians were also members of the improv groups that performed at the show.
Andrew Smith opened the show, followed by Jack Chadwick. Both of these comedians used well-placed self-deprecating humor before performing together with several other members of their improv group, Horse Lincoln.
Horse Lincoln and the second featured improviser, Reckless Gents, both took suggestions from the audience to shape their performances. Horse Lincoln took the word “mathematics” and launched into a series of interrelated skits, which included an incompetent teacher trying to convince an administrator to use school funds to pay for his Netflix account and a 23-year-old with a bedwetting problem.
“We usually have 10 people, so it was weird to have four,” eighth-semester psychology and theater studies major and Horse Lincoln member Nicole Goldstein said.
The Reckless Gents had a slightly different style, using the suggestion, “evil birthday party” to shape a continuous plot line with a number of characters shifting in and out.
Reckless Gents member and eighth-semester English major Zach Maloof also performed, and seemed to be a crowd favorite, perhaps in part because of the support of his group-members in the audience.
“I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big thing with all the cameras and everything,” Maloof said.
Besides the improv artists, Penina Beede and Nick Roche performed stand-up acts as well.
For the most part, the performers had positive reviews, both about their own acts, and on the show itself.
“I think a lot more things like this should go on to bring the different [comedic] groups together,” Goldstein said.
Hatfield was also happy with the event, saying he had been expecting more problems. Although at times there were awkward amounts of time between the acts in order to adjust cameras and microphones, Hatfield managed to fill these minutes interacting with the audience and sharing some of his own comedic wisdom.
“Hosting is like sex for me,” Hatfield said. “I don’t know where to look and I’m not good at it.”
Despite having to fill these gaps however, Hatfield was happy with the event and hopes to organize another, possibly towards the end of the semester.
Alex Houdeshell is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.