Comedians crack up Ballroom crowd

Melissa Dilley

VIEW video of the comedy show.

Comedian Arvin Mitchell said when he performs at colleges, he’s usually given guidelines about what not to joke about.

“I get told not to tell offensive jokes all the time,” Mitchell said. “Midgets, races, illnesses, nationalities – you name it, they don’t want me to talk about it. But I’m going to offend you tonight because no one at Kent told me not to.”

Mitchell, along with Deon Cole and DeRay Davis from “Barbershop,” “Barbershop 2” and MTV’s “Wild ‘n Out,” performed Saturday night as part of the Homecoming festivities. The event was hosted by Black United Students and was performed in front of a crowd that filled the ballroom to maximum capacity.

Mitchell may have tried to make the large audience uncomfortable, but it was all laughs. Sophomore nursing major Shavae Wright said she almost fell out of her chair from laughing so hard.

“I can’t even think of what my favorite joke was because they were all so good,” Wright said. “I liked when the jokes related to my life though.”

Most of the jokes were college-related, and the laughs were loud from both the comedians and students when the audience was involved.

Cole tested the black fraternities in the audience by pitting them against one another, and when Davis joked about what guys should never do, he asked the women to tell him what reasons they had for not approaching a man in a club.

When the women in the audience were eager to answer that guys who dance together, wear tight jeans, give other men hugs, say goodnight or wear flip flops are a no-go, the men in the audience had to have their say. The men said they usually don’t approach women who have weaves, and too much make-up is a turn off.

Davis also said women who wear too much makeup is also a turn off.

“Have you ever seen women at the club when they turn the lights on?” Davis asked as he began to act out the scene. “‘Uhh oh, I gotta go girl. It was nice to meet you baby’ as they cover their heads and run out or duck into the bathroom.”

Cole said getting the crowd involved in a meaningful way is important, but if it isn’t in a relevant way, it means the comedian isn’t experienced.

“Have you ever been to a comedy show, and they don’t laugh at the joke?” Cole asked. “You know the comedian is bad when the crowd dies down and they say, ‘Damn, it’s crazy in here.’ The other way you can tell is if they start asking the audience stupid questions like, ‘Where the ladies at?’ or ‘Are there any Taurus’s in the audience? I’m a Taurus, so damn that’s crazy.’ They say this stuff, and it’s totally random.”

The comedians also pointed out that when the audience doesn’t laugh at their jokes, it makes them feel bad. Courtney Collins, the show’s host, said he began a tradition to make sure he feels good about himself and is producing his best material.

“I told my woman that I was going to cut back my drinking to be a better person,” Collins said. “Now, I only drink on days that start with ‘tah’: today, tomorrow and tonight.”

After Saturday night’s performance, these comedians didn’t have to worry about whether their jokes were striking the right cord with their audience. At the end of the show, the audience had an opportunity to meet the comedians, and large groups of impressed audience members remained outside the ballroom waiting for pictures and autographs.

BUS president Ashley Tolliver said she was pleased with the turnout and the performers.

“I really appreciate everyone coming out to and showing their school spirit during Homecoming week,” Tolliver said. “It took a lot of hard work to put all of this together and find acts that everyone would recognize and that would make everyone laugh, and I think we succeeded”

Contact on-campus entertainment editor Melissa Dilley at [email protected].