‘SNL’ co-stars get real, and real funny, at comedy show

By Jessica Ganga and Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Features Editor and Sports Editor

Colin Jost took a break from sharing the week’s top stories on “Saturday Night Live’s” “Weekend Update” to open the College Union Board’s (CUB) fall comedy show on Friday, Sept. 25, in Kendall Hall. Jost joked with the College’s own resident young people before his “SNL” co-star Jay Pharoah took the stage.

During the show, Jost made it a point to connect with the college crowd, covering topics from dating apps to relationships.

Jost tells the dramatic tale about the night he ate a weed cookie. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Jost tells the dramatic tale about the night he ate a weed cookie. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

When he asked the crowd what types of dating sites students use, members of the audience cited examples such as Tinder and Christian Mingle.

“You know something is going in the butt on that date,” Jost said about those who use Christian Mingle.

He reflected on his time at Harvard University, when many girls in his class had their own views on sexuality.

Jost went on to paraphrase what they “assumed” was in the Bible about sex saying, “Thou shalt only do butt stuff.”

Jost touched upon drug use — specifically marijuana — and asked students if any of them use the drug.

“Anyone here smoke weed?” Jost asked, prompting weak cheering from the crowd. “Guys, relax, I’m not your RA. Does anyone here smoke weed?”

When asked again, the audience broke out in applause. One student in particular was louder than the rest, and Jost took advantage of the moment by joking that he is a part of Residence Life.

“Right here, get him, swarm,” Jost said. “The man clapping — tackle him! I am an RA. I wish I had hired some police to tackle him.”

Jost went on to tell the story of a date that went horribly wrong when a girl gave him a weed cookie. Now in his 30s, Jost says using the drug gives him paranoia, but at the time, he couldn’t pass up a delicious cookie.

When the marijuana really set in, he became so paranoid that he thought his date had poisoned him.

“I did what any 30-year-old man would do,” Jost said. “I snuck into the other room and called my parents. I swear to God. It was like three in the morning.”

His parents, who reside in Staten Island, traveled to Manhattan to help him. Luckily, his date found this all rather funny in her state of mind, but it didn’t lead the comedian to a second date. In that moment, Jost wasn’t sure if he should feel thankful or remorseful for having parents that lived so close.

“Staten Island was a great place to grow up,” Jost said, reflecting on his beginnings. “I feel like it’s pretty comedic. There are a lot of characters, so it’s help for writing shows and characters. I feel like I grew up with a lot of strong accents and some bold choices in looks.”

Jost also shared some “fun facts” about the College using a list provided by CUB.

“Here’s a nice one. Very appropriate for tonight,” Jost said. “‘Kendall Hall is supposedly haunted because in the 1970s, a girl was murdered on stage.’”

When the audience broke out into applause, Jost pointed out that the students were cheering for a girl’s murder.

It was apparent that not only was Jost good at coming up with jokes on the spot, but he could also prepare and write funny material.

As a head writer for “SNL,” Jost said he has always loved the writing side of comedy. He began writing during his time at Harvard as the president of the comedic magazine, Harvard Lampoon.

“It’s the only reason I got to ‘SNL,’” Jost said. “I ended up writing there like 90 hours a week and writing comedy with people who wanted to write comedy. And then eventually, I heard you could do it for a living.”

After Jost finished up his performance, he introduced Pharoah to the stage. In bright red kicks, Pharoah walked in rapping along to the song “100” by The Game, featuring Drake, playing in the background.

Later in the show, Pharoah told the audience he has been rapping for 14 years.

“Can I spit some bars for y’all?” Pharoah asked.

He freestyled for audience members, who in turn, listened intently to the comedians lyrics.

“I don’t know if it’s the time for self-promotion, but (my) mixtape is on SoundCloud,” Pharoah said. “You can check that shit out right now.”

Pharoah’s talent is not only evident in his ability to rap, but also in his ability to perform spot-on impressions. Throughout the show, Pharoah entertained the audience with his impressions of Lil’ Wayne, Drake, Eminem, Kevin Hart, Eddie Murphy and even Jost.

Pharoah commands the stage during his dynamic set. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)
Pharoah commands the stage during his dynamic set. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

In an interview with The Signal, Pharoah described how he is able to perfect his impressions.

“I envision a person’s face and I envision them saying the same shit I’m saying at the same time,” Pharoah said. “So in my mind, when I’m doing an impression, I’m taking this person and using them to talk like me. I’m imagining how they would say the shit I’m saying.”

Like Jost, Pharoah also talked about relationships and topics that might resonate with college students, but toward the end of the show, Pharoah took off the mask of a comedian and turned on a more serious tone. He recently opened up about his struggle with depression and reminded everyone at the College that they are not alone.

“For the people with depression out there, I just want you to know, y’all ain’t alone,” he said. “It ain’t just y’all. You don’t have to feel alone.”

He didn’t end on a sad note, though. Pharoah began singing “Hail Mary” by 2pac and a handful of people sang along. Pharoah had pointed out a kid who knew the lyrics.

“You, white guy, stand the fuck up. Come here,” Pharoah said, inviting the student to come to the front of the stage. “On behalf of the black community, I adopt you, son.”

Throughout the night, Pharoah and Jost were unafraid to tackle absurd topics like these.

During his set, Jost said that an ex-girlfriend defined quality time as when you’re not eating, watching a movie or having sex.

“I think when women use the term quality time they imagine in their heads, it’s the two of you alone in an empty warehouse sitting on two stools just staring into each other’s eyes,” Jost said. “Petting the puppy that you just bought together and every 15 minutes you apologize for something you don’t remember doing — that is quality time.”

No apologies were needed despite the lack of puppies because the College enjoyed the quality time with the comedians