Comedians go taboo, entertain

Omid Singh causes hilarity with his stories as a ‘brown guy’ being mistaken for a terrorist.
Omid Singh causes hilarity with his stories as a ‘brown guy’ being mistaken for a terrorist.

A brown guy, a black girl and a skinny white guy walk into Kendall Hall. Sounds like the beginning of a bad (and possibly racially insensitive) joke? Never fear, this was just the lineup for the College Union Board’s “3 For Free” comedy show on Thursday, Aug. 30 starring Omid Singh, Tiffany Haddish and Tim Young.

Omid Singh, the self-professed “brown guy” in the lineup, used his ethnicity as the backbone for most of his material. With an Indian father and a Persian mother, he joked, “So I’m Pakistani.” He urged the audience not to be afraid of him. “The worst I can do to you is teach you some yoga and take you on a magic carpet ride,” he reassured the crowd.

Singh explained the concept of a “Code Red,” which, according to him, is “when a non-threatening brown person scares a lot of people.” He recalled a time when he accidently threw his gym bag into a departing train, realizing immediately that it would probably be mistaken for a bomb. Though he tells his stories in good humor, they definitely contain a comment on the bigotry found in American society.

“When usually you just see a brown person, your automatic first thought is ‘terrorist.’ So my goal is always to take that idea that they say, ‘Oh, he’s a terrorist’ and then flip it on them and say I’m just the same as you. But you have to first start by addressing the elephant in the room of saying, ‘Hey hey hey, I know I’m a brown guy, but let’s talk about something else,” Singh explained in an interview before the show.

Haddish continued in Singh’s vein of using race as an initial source of comedy, referring to herself as “the urban portion of the show” and wondering aloud to the audience, “Where are the black people?” Noting the predominantly Caucasian crowd, she joked, “I feel like I’m at a really big ass bar mitzvah.”

Haddish shared her dream of opening up a nightclub for the handicapped and complained about everything from skinny jeans to the cats in heat she can hear from her bedroom. Though she got laughs, Haddish confessed in an interview later that she wished she had changed her routine. “Tonight I wish I would have done stuff I do at high schools more because I forget they were freshmen,” she explained, noting that the younger crowd might not have been the right audience for some of her jokes.

Young’s routine, however, was aimed at the new-to-college audience. He started off his set by talking to freshmen about everything from roommates to stealing food trays and drinking. “Passing out is when you decide that wherever you are is a good place for a nap,” he joked.

He went on to warn girls about the effects of plastic surgery (“Don’t do that to your face … Get some titties, please.”) and made a Penn State/Jerry Sandusky joke involving “touch football.”
CUB announced early in the evening that the upcoming fall Comedy Show will take place on September 15 and will feature Judah Friedlander of “30 Rock.”