On March 7, SUBOG’s comedy committee held “Last UComic Standing”, a stand-up comedy contest at the Student Union Theatre. The program debuted in 2019 but was put on halt due to COVID-19; this year’s show was the second time the event was held.
Six contestants took part, presenting original sets on stage. Some were entirely new to performing, while others were part of the student stand-up club.
Last time, the top three comedians won small prizes, but the comedy committee chose to raise the stakes this year.
“COVID hit and you never really heard from the comedy committee again,” said Caroline Czuprynski, a sixth-semester English major and SUBOG’s comedy chair. “So instead of prizes, why not give students a memorable opportunity?”
With that in mind, the committee decided to crown the winner with the opportunity to open for the guest comedian at an upcoming show.
Czuprynski emceed the program, introducing each participant and throwing in a handful of her own jokes here and there. Regardless of experience, there was no shortage of laughter as each performer took the stage.
First-time performer Linnea Bailor boasted about self-confidence and the comical paths her oblivion led her to.
Benjamin Vyce talked about his fruitless attempts to find love on Tinder, people-watching at the airport and a mortifying JCPenney photoshoot celebrating his driver’s license.
Multiple performers used their set as an opportunity to make light of UConn, sending the crowd howling.
“Whenever I say I don’t like kids, someone always says something stupid, like ‘UConn cares about their students,’” performer Randall Radcliff joked.
Nathan Sinclair talked about his attempt to woo a girl on-campus without spending a dime.
“It was Valentine’s Day, so I was like great, I got to show her something nice,” he said. “Instead of taking her to the North dining hall, I took her to Northwest.”
“I let her sit in the front seat,” Sinclair continued, “…of the bus.”
Second-semester student Victoria Clingan introduced her set with an open invitation to visit her on-campus therapy cat for snuggles, before turning to make fun of her home state.
“What happens in Oklahoma? If you have to ask, the answer is nothing,” Clingan passionately exclaimed.
After, she launched into a humorous narration of her last Thanksgiving, featuring a very bizarre family accountant. While some of the best jokes of the night were delivered with subtlety, Clingan showed the audience that self-awareness is funny too, pausing to chuckle with the crowd at a joke she’d made on the fly.
Contestant Darrel McDowell offered up some controversial opinions, including the desire to get rid of zoos and impose an age limit on the presidency.
“They want Hilary [Clinton] to run for a third time, a third time!” McDowell said in disbelief. “She wants to play bingo, let her retire!”
Sinclair’s set covered a diverse set of topics — everything from toxic masculinity to ineffective activism.
“If you’re having problems with investment bankers, you’re going to march on Wall Street. If you want to stick it up to big government and you want some legislation, you’re going to march on Washington,” Sinclair began. Whenever the students at UConn are discontent, it’s “Everyone, we’re going to the Student Union,” he laughed.
A panel of four judges from the committee deliberated for a while, before ultimately giving Sinclair first place, McDowell second and Clingan third. Stay tuned to SUBOG’s Instagram for details on the show Sinclair will be opening for and other comedy events.