The future and present of stand-up comedy met on the small stage Friday night as campus comedy king Adam Mamawala, junior communication studies major, and Comedy Central regular Steve Byrne teamed up for a pair of College Union Board (CUB)-sponsored comedy shows in the Rathskeller.
Insulting basically anything that moved, the sarcastic duo launched barbs at the campus, the Rat’s archaic decorations, “Guitar Hero” and club rats.
Drawing on self-deprecation, an impressive repertoire of celebrity impressions and his trademark Eickhoff Hall routine, Mamawala opened up his half-hour set by revealing a “deep, dark secret” to the throng of students who had crammed themselves into the Rat’s tiny dining section.
“I used to be a fatass,” Mamawala said. “I was somewhere between Goldberg from ‘The Mighty Ducks’ and Louie Anderson.”
After playing up what he called his “pretty boy image,” Mamawala rambled through an extended joke about a series of “shitty days” at the College.
“And then at one point you will see the ugliest group of people you have ever seen in your life having a great time,” Mamawala said. “I’m talking not fully evolved, Bowser from ‘MarioKart.'”
After he finished tearing into the less-than-attractive members of the College’s community, Mamawala redirected his verbal assault at Campus Police (after checking to make sure none of our gun-toting boys in blue were hanging around the bar).
“There are only three things worse than getting pulled over by a campus cop,” Mamawala remarked. “Getting pulled over by a cop on a bike, a cop on a horse or mall security.”
The state’s “King of Campus Comedy” went on to recite a story about receiving a ticket from a campus cop who, while filing a report, wrote the number two in the space for eye color.
“Has there been a pirate committing a rash of traffic violations?” the comic asked.
Mamawala’s playful sarcasm was quickly replaced by Byrne’s unyielding, raw style of delivery. The half-Irish, half-Korean comic laid into the crowd as soon as he grabbed the mic, cutting loose with a brash disclaimer.
“It’s gonna be 45 minutes of this shit,” Byrne shouted. “So if you don’t like it go back to your room and jerk off or watch ‘The Hills.'”
Byrne poked fun at his Asian heritage from the get-go.
“In this country, if you’re Asian and you’re female, you are sexy,” Byrne said. “If you’re male . tech support.”
After polling the audience about the “hottest club” in Ewing (and deciding KatManDu sounded “skanky”) Byrne offered some dancing tips to the men in the room.
“If you’re not gay, black or Latino, drink as much liquor as you can,” Byrne said. “You may look stupid, but you won’t feel stupid.”
It wouldn’t be long before Byrne returned to the Asian jokes. After admitting that he didn’t know martial arts, he taught the students in attendance his two lethal fight moves.
“Your first strike move is a double punch to the eyes, because as a man, you can’t defend that because it’s never happened before,” Byrne said. “Then you punch the guy in the asshole.”
Acquiring the services of David Novak, junior sociology major, Byrne took the audience through the three “cool faces” he promised would help the 21 and over crowd pick up any ladies they wanted. Novak and Byrne teamed up to display The Jaguar (for the guy who “fucks while listening to DMX”), Little Boy Blue (the guy who does what girls want, or might just be gay) and The Showman (who “owns this shit”).
When Novak successfully completed his training, Byrne allowed him to vacuum the stage as a reward. That worked for about three seconds, before the ancient Oreck model literally blew its top on stage, falling apart and vomiting a cloud of dust at the comic and his pimp apprentice.
“Get the fuck off stage,” Byrne shouted, dismissing Novak once and for all.
Byrne finished up his act with a bit about the wonders of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Explaining his affection for the sound the famed orange foodstuff made while cooking, Byrne related a story about a neighbor “listening” to the food for over an hour, making an obnoxious lapping sound in the background as he did. A licking sound, one might say.
“I kept hearing her moan, and yell eat it, eat it,” Byrne said, meeting with blank stares from half the audience before adding, “That joke was not about pasta people.”