On Thursday, Aug 30. the College Union Board (CUB) put on the first of its many shows, bringing in a trio of award-winning comics to entertain the student body. Paul Varghese, Jessica Kirson and Greg Fitzsimmons were all invited to the College to share their unique brands of standup comedy.
Jessica Kirson was the loudest and most inclusive act of the night, often involving people from the crowd in her routine. Comfortable with her weight, Kirson started the act by saying, “Boy it’s hot in here . and I’m fat.”
Kirson has appaeared on the past two seasons of “Last Comic Standing” and she also won the 2006 MAC award for Best Female Comic, which honors the best comedians in New York City’s competitive club scene.
“I liked when she brought the one kid on-stage and he said he didn’t have a girlfriend,” Matthew Kurtz, junior mechanical engineering major, said. “Then some girl from the audience said she was his girlfriend and came down on-stage too. If they’re together, he’s probably not going to get any tonight.”
Audience members showed their support for Kirson as she finished her set, rising to their feet and honoring her with the only standing ovation of the night.
Everybody in the crowd seemed to enjoy Paul Varghese’s self-effacing humor, which dealt with everything from growing up Indian/Asian to the possibility of terrorism in Middle America.
“Don’t you hate how when you’re in grade school you’re supposed to line up single file to exit the building while its on fire?” Varghese said. “We had to do it in alphabetical order at my school, so how do you think me, Wong and Yang felt at the end of the line?”
The crowd roared after Varghese, also a “Last Comic Standing” veteran, told a joke about a Midwesterner going into a coffee shop and blowing himself up in the name of country rock star Toby Keith. Varghese left the crowd happy and eager for the next comedian.
Greg Fitzsimmons was the last act of the night and well worth the wait. A regular perofmer on “Late Night with David Letterman,” his comedy incorporated sexual and political issues. He also joked about his religious background.
“I was raised Catholic, but I didn’t . you know . get diddled by a priest.”
Holidays weren’t safe from the four-time Emmy winner’s routine either.
One of the crowd’s favorite jokes was when Fitzsimmons said, “My grandma always used to make up ways that the Irish were the best people. She’d say things like ‘Oh, did you ever notice that a lot of Irish people were born around Christmas?’ Eventually I realized that Christmas is exactly nine months from St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidence?”
After the show, Mike Lawrence, CUB recruitment director and event organizer had nothing but good things to say about the three performers.
“We chose Greg because he was hilarious and was a big name that the students would want to see,” he said. “Paul Varghese was on ‘Last Comic Standing’ so he’s very good and we thought that many of the students would have heard of him. Jessica was very high energy and fit in with the rest of the show.”
Lawrence also praised the comedians for their down-to-earth attitudes.
“We were just talking and hanging out backstage, and they were all really nice,” he said.
CUB’s first major event of the year was a definite success, bringing a near capacity crowd of 475 students to Kendall Hall.