Comics usher in new semester with laughs

“You leave college the same way you went into preschool: stumbling around, clothes on backwards . and both times you’re carrying a bottle,” comedian Lee Camp said to the rows of students in Kendall Hall on Saturday night.

Camp and two other comedians, Amy Anderson and Retta, were on campus for the College Union Board’s (CUB) “Welcome Back Weekend” show.

All three comedians stuck with relatively safe routines, touching on subjects like dogs in sweaters, Wal-Mart, the war on terror and dating.

Each comedian spent a significant amount of time making fun of discrimination, repeatedly impressing upon the audience the ridiculousness of stereotyping.

Camp drew laughs, some uncomfortable, from the audience when talking about Mr. Clean as an advertising image. “When I see a huge skinhead neo-Nazi, I think clean,” he said.

Anderson, who was adopted from South Korea as a 5-month-old by a family in Minnesota, told stories about her childhood in which she was both picked on for being Asian and subjected to ignorant comments in her all-white neighborhood.

Anderson joked about the drive-by discrimination she’s received, telling a story about teenaged boys who drove past her yelling “ching chong.”

She could only assume it was meant to be derogatory, however, since she said she doesn’t speak any Asian languages. “They could have actually been saying something, but I don’t know,” she said.

She also utilized her on-stage time to recommend a Web site to the audience. She found out about from a friend who she said spends too much time online.

Anderson said she found herself “judging the poo” on the site, rating each on a scale of one to 10. “Go ahead and judge me,” she said, “but you’re going to go back to your room and look it up.”

Anderson also announced that she was having a baby, which elicited applause from the audience. “Strangers get really excited for me,” she said about announcing her pregnancy.

The final performer, New Jersey native Retta, scanned the crowd early into her set before proclaiming, “I am not scared of a lot of things, but I am scared of a man with a mullet.” What she found more frightening, however, is “a black man with a mullet.”

Retta, from Edison, told the audience about a college show she performed in “Iowa, or Idaho, one of those useless things,” where she was put up in a Super 8 Motel.

She walked into the bathroom and discovered the 2-by-1-inch bar of soap. “They expect this,” she said, holding up a bar of tiny soap, “to wash all of this,” gesturing at her larger stature.

At one point, she directed her comments to the females in the audience: “How many women think men should shave their armpits? Cuz seriously, this Don King in a headlock is not attractive.”

When only a few people raised their hands, she thanked them for their honesty and told the story of her epiphany.

She was watching MTV Unplugged and L.L. Cool J. was performing. As he raised his arms, she said, “It looked like someone had crumbled a Double Stuf Oreo in there.”

Though both Anderson and Retta said they don’t change their routines unless required, they both said that jokes resound differently depending on the audience, even among college students.

At some schools they are required to take out the sex jokes and the profanity. Anderson said she asked members of CUB if she would have to take anything out, but was told she could say whatever she wanted.

Both Anderson and Retta said they thought the show went well. “I appreciate (being here),” Retta said. “I get to pay my mortgage this month.”