Amid a flurry of mid-February snow and technical difficulties, Darrell Hammond and Mark Curry delivered a healthy dose of laughter to a frozen campus during College Union Board’s (CUB) Evening of Comedy last Tuesday.
The original opener, Curry, was delayed by the weather, so headliner Hammond agreed to perform first while Curry made his way up from Philadelphia.
From Regis Philbin to John Kerry, nobody was safe from Hammond’s scathing act. The storied “Saturday Night Live” comedian, who is most famous for his impersonations of former President Bill Clinton and actor Sean Connery, methodically cut down various public figures as he battled with an uncooperative microphone. While several sound technicians tried to fix the issue, Hammond resorted to cupping his hands over his mouth and shouting the jokes to the audience. The crowd chuckled at his antics, which perplexed the comedian.
“I’ve gotten like, 11 laughs out of you guys and I haven’t even gotten to a punchline yet,” Hammond said.
Sporting an outfit that might have been handpicked from the Salvation Army’s winter collection, Hammond sauntered around the stage rambling about LSD and collegiate alcoholism, among other things.
“I’ve done so much acid in my life that I’m doing tonight’s show from the future,” he said.
One of Hammond’s favorite targets was President George W. Bush. The comedian attacked everything from his mannerisms to his long-beleaguered public speaking ability.
“I’ve never seen a president stop talking in the middle of a sentence . because he’s finished,” Hammond joked.
Hammond also ripped on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “(Arnold’s) not the kind of man who will let people put words in his mouth,” Hammond said, “like conjunctions or prepositions.”
Hammond walked offstage to a raucous round of applause, but was pulled back to the stage by pleas for his well-known Connery impression.
“I really never thought when I grew up that my niche in Western Civilization would be to say ‘That’s the way your mother likes it, Trebek’ in a Scottish accent.”
Curry, star of the ’90s sitcom “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” took the stage next, ribbing on people in the front row and poking fun at airline security’s scrutiny over minorities.
“Black people need an express lane through the airport,” Curry said. “We ain’t gonna hijack nothing we can’t drive.”
Curry was extremely energetic on stage, waving his hands frantically and bobbing up and down. At one point, he almost kicked over the mic stand but it swiveled back into place, causing Curry to exclaim, “I’m a pimp, it never falls.”
At one point he took a girl’s purse from the crowd and used it to jump into a tirade about how women always think black people will steal their purse. He also continually bantered with sophomore political science major Steve Morris, talking him up and picking on him.
Curry also went off about celebrities adopting black children and proposed his version of a government reaction to blacks adopting white people.
“Okay we need to do something to stop this – I mean Snoop Dogg just got like four of them,” Curry said.
Curry opened the floor up to questions after he finished his performance. An audience member asked him about the worst joke he ever heard. He replied, “Michael Richards.”
“If I ever see him, I’m gonna bust him up,” Curry said.
Curry walked into the lobby after the show to sign autographs and take pictures. He also spoke to The Signal about some of his biggest influences.
“Richard Prior, no doubt,” Curry said. “He showed me that if you animate the joke, the crowd sees the joke twice, and that way you get two laughs.”
Senior psychology major Jennifer Chesnulovitch, the event’s coordinator for CUB, spoke about working with Curry and Hammond.
“They were both very down to earth,” Chesnulovitch said. “Mark loves interacting with the fans and Darrell was just great; he worked right through the microphone problems and the delays.”