Laughter filled the Mayo Concert Hall Thursday night as students welcomed three comedians to the stage at the annual Welcome Week Comedy Show, sponsored by the College Union Board (CUB) and the Welcome Week committee.
Comedians Carmen Lynch, Chris Fonseca and Mariano Rodriguez brought the laughs, and like most comedians, didn’t hesitate to make some audience members a part of the punchline.
It didn’t seem to bother the students at all. In fact, it actually made them laugh harder.
“I think when comedians bring a person from the crowd into the joke, it draws in any student that is connected to that person, whether the student is that person’s friend, roommate or classmate, which makes the performances even funnier,” Shawn Peterson, junior biology major and CUB member, said.
Early on, Carmen Lynch, who opened the show, drew attention to Allen Soriano, a student sitting in the front row who sported a noticeable haircut.
Pointing to Soriano’s mohawk, she said, “I was gonna get my hair just like that, but I already look like a man.”
She also got the students involved by asking questions about the campus, which at times resulted in students drawing laughs from their peers.
“What’s the best part about (the College)?” Lynch asked the audience. One male student’s response: the 7-to-3 female-to-male ratio.
Lynch, who was a finalist on the first season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” spent the majority of her time on stage discussing her hopeless love life (she’s six feet tall and can’t find a man her height), her lack of goals and her parents (they married after four dates).
The highlight of the comedy show was the sarcastic, outrageous and sometimes dirty humor of Chris Fonseca, a veteran standup comic who graced the stages of “The Late Show with David Letterman,” HBO’s “Loco Slam,” PBS’s “Look Who’s Laughing” and ABC’s ninth annual American Comedy Awards during his 21-year career in comedy.
His material included jokes about sex, marriage, political correctness when it comes to disabled people and meeting celebrities like KISS and Ozzy Osbourne.
Fonseca, who was born with cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair because of it, showed the audience that he was also born with the ability to incite laughter.
“Chris was my favorite,” Dave Adams, a junior chemistry major who has attended the show every year, said. “I thought he was absolutely hysterical. I especially liked the Cinco de Mayo joke.”
In Fonseca’s Cinco de Mayo joke, he told the audience that he hates Cinco de Mayo because he believes that white people invented the holiday so they could break into all the Mexicans’ homes and steal their stuff back.
Like Lynch, Fonseca also made it his business to evoke laughter from the audience by making a joke about Soriano, who later told the audience he was a biomedical engineering major.
Fonseca told the audience he’d never want Soriano to work on him if he got hurt because Fonseca is “fucked up enough” due to his disability.
When bringing up his disability, Fonseca claimed that he’s still nowhere near as slow as people from West Virginia.
Los Angeles comic Mariano Rodriguez ended the show with jokes about his Latino upbringing and why he feared being deported as a young kid for bad behavior, while his peers only had to avoid being grounded.
Rodriguez also brought a humorous spirit to political topics like gay marriage and immigration.
His take on immigration is simple, he said. “Since the people who immigrate into the U.S. usually don’t speak English, if you’re losing your job to people like this, then maybe it’s you who should be deported,” Rodriguez said.
Erin Palermo, freshman psychology major, said she came to the show with a group of friends and enjoyed every minute of it.
“The show was really good,” she said. “It was hilarious.”
The annual Welcome Week Comedy Show, usually held in Kendall Hall, took place in the Music Building this year because of ceiling repairs in Kendall Hall.
“We had to look at a different venue, so we had to pick a venue that would still be suitable for the amount of people that were coming and one that would have a stage suitable for the comedians to perform on,” Tara Conte, director of CUB, said.
Conte said she was impressed not only by the quality of the performances, but also by the number of students who attended.
More than 200 people attended the comedy show, she said.
“It seemed like people were really excited about seeing a comedy show,” Conte said. “I think we had a pretty good turnout.”