Snow still sprinkled the ground from the night before, but a long line of college students crowded the cold steps of Kendall Hall where comedians Charlie Murphy, Bill Burr and Donnell Rawlings were expected to arrive.
Sophomore engineering major Christopher Allen was the first to arrive. He had seen comedians live before, he said, including Dave Chappelle, Stephen Lynch and Charlie’s brother Eddie Murphy, but, still, in anticipation of this tour, “I’m Rich, Biatch!” he leaned against a Kendall Hall column an hour before the doors were scheduled to open.
Junior music education major Lauren Gagliardi used a different tactic than Allen to earn a front-row seat. A few minutes before the doors opened, she and her friends raced to Kendall and slipped to the front of the crowd.
“This is going to be the funniest show I’ve ever seen live,” Gagliardi said.
A crowd of about 600 was not disappointed as the three explosive personalities from “Chappelle’s Show” indiscriminately poked fun at anyone and anything. Their uncensored humor drew roars of sometimes tearful laughter and caused DJ Nix-in-the-mix to double over with hilarity.
“When I booked this gig, it’s in my contract that I can’t say anything positive,” Rawlings said.
Burr discussed marriage (“If somebody told you when you went parachuting that half the parachutes weren’t going to open, would you still go?”), the Olsen twins’ eating habits, racism in chat rooms and his sex life with a woman who lived on 125th street in New York City.
He also debated feminists’ pleas for equal wages. For some reason, he noted, women and children get to go in the lifeboats first if the Titanic is sinking. Also, if there is a rabid dog or a bump in the night, it is the man’s job to take care of it.
“Where are all the feminists in those situations?” he asked. “Can’t find ’em!”
Murphy, like the other two comedians, talked about race and his genitals. He took a different twist, however, and also chatted about his relationships offstage. Rawlings, he said, is sick of hearing “Charlie Murphy” all the time, but Murphy is not.
“My name was Eddie Murphy’s brother for 16 years,” Murphy said. “That ‘Eddie Murphy’s brother’ stuff was deep. My own son called me Eddie Murphy’s brother once … (rumble of laughter from audience) … once.”
Murphy remembered his former friendship with deceased musician Rick James and a basketball game he lost to Prince after Murphy underestimated the singer’s athletic ability.
“All black men cannot play basketball,” Murphy said. “That’s a myth that was born in the ’70s.”
No one was spared these comics’ humor – not Chinese people (Rawlings: “Did I offend everyone here? Not yet!? OK, Chinese people…”), Michael Jackson, George Bush (Murphy: “I like him … he’s doing global gangster stuff”), a mentally challenged hippopotamus that died in the tsunami last year or this Signal reporter. Rawlings demanded and then snatched the reporter’s notebook, laid down on the stage and read a version of a lewd quote out of it.
A fan backstage may sense the same love among the three comedians.
“Nobody is friends on this tour,” Rawlings said after the show. “Charlie Murphy’s head is getting big.”
They said they had a great time at the College and were glad they did not perform in Loser Hall. Burr said the name “bugged us out.”
“I like the fact that I can inspire and help students reach their dreams with my inspirational and positive act,” Rawlings said.
The troupe has drawn gales of laughter from Alabama to California since the tour began in July. They will keep going “as long as all the members are popular and famous,” according to agent Nick Bayne from Relevant Entertainment.
“We could laugh at every one’s differences, which usually divide us,” Je-Hanne Forsythe, Afrikan-American Cultural Awareness Association (AACAA) president, said. “The togetherness that came out of the show was terrific.”
AACAA co-sponsored the tour, called “I’m Rich Biatch!,” with the College Union Board (CUB).
“I felt that everyone at the show was laughing and having fun,” CUB event coordinator and senior marketing major Lauren Conroy said. “CUB’s main goal is to bring enjoyable entertainment to the campus, so it was a successful event.”
In an interview after the show, Rawlings claimed he served jail time because of “something to do with a reporter.” He said he would have to kill anybody he told the reason for his incarceration.
Without victimization in a murder, it seemed there had been enough attention focused on the media for one night. This reporter did not inquire further.
“If you quote me on that, add LOLOL at the end,” Rawlings added.
Readers should rest assured; most of these comics’ comments come complete with an “LOLOL.”