Comedians get laughs despite low turnout in the Student Center

Denver Collins

Comedian Jason Banks, of Massillon, performs a set at last night’s comedy show sponsored by the Kent Interhall Council in the Student Center Ballroom. Banks was voted Northeast Ohio’s Funniest Amatuer in October 2007 at the Funny Stop Comedy Club’s compet

Credit: DKS Editors

LISTEN to a podcast of the show.

Kent Interhall Council set up hundreds of chairs for a comedy show with only several dozen students to fill them last night in the Student Center Ballroom.

The show was scheduled to start at 8 p.m., but was postponed for a half hour while the performers waited for more students to trickle in. About 35 students attended.

Freshman KIC member Avery Danage said the organization doesn’t normally sponsor comedy shows.

“We’re just trying to do something different,” he said. “This is an effort for KIC to reach another audience.”

The show featured area comedians Jeff Weyrauch, Jason Banks, alumnus Rick Glassman, Jim Tews and headliner Mike Conley, who joked about how closely he resembled George Costanza gone to hell or a bald Elton John.

“I’m like your drunk uncle standing up here,” he warned, as he was significantly older than the other comedians.

The show began with Weyrauch warming up the crowd. He introduced Jason Banks, the soft-spoken comedian who first sparked some life into the small crowd. The audience couldn’t contain their laughter when he started talking about how much he loved white women.

“But you know my favorite white woman? Michael Jackson,” he said. “When I was a kid I loved Michael Jackson. I just never knew he’d love me back.”

Glassman took the stage next, seeming unsure at first how to break the ice with the low turnout. He recovered and kept the energy alive with jokes about relationships, chicken pox and government cheese.

The highlight of the show for most was Jim Tews, who kept the audience laughing through the whole set. He talked about his time in the Coast Guard and how that experience only qualified him for a job as a pirate. So he decided to further his education at Cuyahoga Community College.

“The good part about Tri-C is that I’m not afraid of a school shooting,” he said. “But it’s not because there’s a lack of crazy people. It’s the lack of ambition.”

There was a moment during Tews’ set where the lack of participation by students in the event made total sense, when he randomly asked the crowd what the Kent State mascot is. Students seemed unsure. Several shouted out their responses.

“OK, I just got three different answers there,” he said. “So your mascot is a flashing eagle-hawk?” The audience laughed. “So, the general consensus here is that it’s an albatross.”

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Denver Collins at [email protected].